By Chimwemwe Mangazi:
The Cotton Council of Malawi (CCM) has said it will extend the cotton selling season by two weeks to accommodate farmers who are harvesting their crop.
The market is supposed to run for 90 days and was, this season expected to close on July 30.
CCM Executive Director, Cosmas Luwanda, said, since opening of the market in April, 10,000 metric tonnes of the crop had been traded.
Luwanda said the market had been favourable as prices picked up from K375 per kilogramme (kg) at the opening of the season to K420 per kg now.
“We have elongated the selling season because the Cotton Farmers Association made a request, saying the planting season started late. Harvesting was delayed a bit; hence, farmers are still picking some cotton from the field which has to be presented to the market,” Luwanda said.
African Institute for Corporate Citizenship (AICC) Project Manager for Market Access, Leonard Chimwaza, said cotton output went down this season.
Chimwaza attributed the drop to pest attacks, mainly, because farmers had been failing to use improved varieties.
“Farmers must practice integrated pest management. This is comprehensive model of managing pests in cotton fields where farmers are taught when to scout for pests—the effective remedial action while conserving the environment,” Chimwaza said.
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