By Henry Chulu:
President of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (Icac), Kai Hughes, is scheduled to visit Malawi next week, to appreciate trends in the local cotton industry.
Hughes would also meet stakeholders and policymakers in the sector on ways of improving its share to the national economy.
African Institute for Corporate Citizenship (AICC) and Cotton Council of Malawi have described the visit as an opportunity for Malawi’s cotton sector to register its impact on a global scale.
Icac serves as the international commodity body for cotton before the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC).
Speaking to journalists in Lilongwe on Monday, AICC Chief Executive Officer, Felix Lombe, said although Malawi was not a member of the committee, the country stood to benefit from Hughes’ visit.
“Malawi is not a member of the Icac. However, Malawi has been involved in the organisation’s [Icac] programmes and activities as an observer. Specifically, Malawi has attended the past eight plenary meetings held in cities of member countries,” Lombe said.
He said Malawi would use Hughes’ visit to finalise paperwork on registering for membership.
“Malawi stands to tap from the resources Icac provides to the member countries through its Common Fund. We also see this as an opportunity for the country to boost this sector,” Lombe said.
Cotton Council of Malawi Chief Executive Officer, Cosmas Luwanda, said the council would utilise the visit to create awareness and promote new and high-producing varieties of cotton seeds on the market.
Luwanda said Malawi struggles to meet cotton demand of 600, 000 metric tonnes annually, despite a number of interventions the council and government have made to address the problem.