Cotton farmers had a rude awakening last week at the start of the cotton selling season with some ginners offering them a price of K350 per kilogramme.
Early last month, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development in conjunction with the Cotton Council of Malawi published minimum farm gate prices for various commodities and cotton was pegged at K375 a kilogramme.
President of the Cotton Farmers Association of Malawi, George Nensa, said, when the K20 farmer’s contribution fee is removed, the farmer was supposed to get K355 a kilogramme but said that, what is happening on the ground, is contrary to this.
“The cotton marketing season has started well, the only unfortunate thing is that we had some hiccups because there were some ginners, who started buying at K350 instead of K355 per kilogramme but we intervened and they now have resorted to paying the right amount of K355 a kilogramme,” Nensa said.
He further said that it is unlikely that farmers will get good proceeds as the crop did not do well in some fields, owing to effects of climate change in the cotton growing season.
“Our yield this year will not be as much as we expected due to dry spells and other effects of climate change. I am sure the yield will be very low though the expectation is that it will surpass that of last year,” Nensa added.
Recently, the Cotton Council of Malawi indicated that they have put in place regulations to guide the market’s operations.
“The regulations stipulate that buying of seed cotton will be done at only the centers designated by the council and that only licensed buyers will be allowed to buy while farmers under contract farming will not be allowed to sell to other buyers other than the company they entered into contract with, among others,” he said.
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