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Local demand for cotton increases

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Local cotton farmers have been challenged to grow more cotton in order to meet the demand for lint by local textile manufacturing companies.

Local production of cotton has been declining in the past three years due to what farmers say are low prices offered on the market.

Last year, the country produced about 10,000 tonnes of cotton, with new textile company, China African Textile Company, describing the quantity as inadequate to meet its requirements.

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China Africa Textile Company General Manager, Zhoo Zhixing, said about 50,000 tonnes of cotton are required to sustain the company’s annual operations once production commences later this year.

At the moment, China African Textile Company is in the process of constructing its $40 million factory in Salima District, which will see the company contributing at least $50 million in textile exports every year.

“But our biggest worry is that cotton production in the country seems to be going down. The current production will not be able to support us with lint because our initial projection is that we will be requiring a minimum of 15,000 tonnes of lint, which roughly comes to around 50,000 tonnes of cotton,” Zhixing said.

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Zhixing said, this year, his company has supported 50,000 cotton farmers with subsidised inputs. This, he said, can help Malawi meet the required amount of lint supplies.

Once operational, China Africa Textile Company will be able to employ a minimum of 1,500 workers.

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