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Cotton rakes in K8 billion

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Earnings from cotton have risen to K8 billion this season from K3.6 billion realised at the end of the 2021 season, officials from the Cotton Council of Malawi (CCM) have said.

This represents a 122 percent growth.

CCM Executive Director Cosmas Luwanda said 15,800 metric tonnes (mt) of cotton seed have been sold on the market this season out of the projected 20,688 mt.

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He indicated that the remaining cotton is in the Northern Region, especially in Karonga and the market is expected to close at the end of the month.

“We were supposed to close by August 13 but we have delayed closure of the market because buyers delayed to enter the market and two of the new entrants were not able to participate fully so by end of August, we should be able to close the market,” Luwanda said.

He said the council has been engaging the two buyers on addressing the challenges faced.

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“Firstly they faced huddles to secure a ginning agreement with the existing ginners. We hope that negotiation will be concluded before the next season starts and that they will secure enough funding to participate fully on the market next year,” Luanda said.

He further indicated that prices of the crop stagnated at K500 per kilogramme (kg) but was still fair considering that government set minimum price was K400 per kg.

But in a separate interview, president of the Cotton Farmers Association Dickson Gundani said the disruption brought about by failure of the two companies to enter the market will greatly affect cotton production next year.

“There was no competition and prices remained subdued. This, coupled with the recent Kwacha devaluation, will mean the farmer will either access seed late or not being able to buy altogether. This will result in reduced production of the crop next year, this aside, the market was fair,” Gundani said.

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