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Great Lakes lays off 200

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One of the country’s cotton ginning companies, Great Lakes, has laid off over 200 members of staff and suspended its operations until the next crop growing season.

Great Lakes Cotton Company board Chairman, Amos Chipungu, confirmed the development in an interview on Tuesday.

Chipungu attributed the development to shortage of cotton in the country this year following drought and dry spells in most cotton growing areas of the country.

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First round crop estimates by the Ministry of Agriculture released in February predicted a 43 percent drop in cotton production for the year.

Chipungu disputed reports that the company was completely closing shop in Malawi, saying it will be back next year.

“This is just temporary. We will back in the next growing season. It is just the shortage of cotton on the market this year that has forced us to suspend operations,” said Chipungu.

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He disclosed that the retrenched members of staff have already been paid their dues and that the company expects to recruit again by November this year.

Cotton is one of Malawi’s strategic crops and is largely produced in Salima, Balaka, Machinga, Chikwawa and Nsanje districts.

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