Cotton Council of Malawi (CCM) has encouraged farmers to grow more cotton saying the country has more and adequate potential market which can consume all the cotton regardless of its volume.
Addressing a press conference in Lilongwe, CCM board chair Duncan Warren said there are readily available markets which the country is failing sustain.
The demand for cotton within Malawi is such that all lint produced can be processed within Malawi.
“We have factories that can produce yarn and beyond yarn towards garments and textiles. All seed cotton produced will be bought.
“We look forward to ADMARC, especially with its three ginneries with adequate capacity and strategic locations to recognize and assume its role in the cotton sector,” said Warren.
He said CCM is looking to the future with a very positive eye based on several developments.
“The high yield of hybrid cotton now provides an opportunity for the medium and large scale growers to an alternative profitable crop to grow in various areas such as western side of Mchinji, Kasungu, Mzimba and some areas of Rumphi,” said Warren.
He added that the good thing is that “cotton is one product that everyone has contact with on a daily basis through clothing, fabrics, linen, pharmaceutical.”
On the current marketing situation across the country, the board chair said CCM has followed with keen interest the news in various media on cotton marketing especially over the recent marketing season.
He said the press briefing was a medium to provide an opportunity to clarify some of the misconception on the marketing issues.
“As pointed out earlier, as a cotton industry, we have adopted a club based contract farming approach. The contract is between the growers, organized in clubs with the buyers.
“The buyers have provided production inputs to the growers, with the expectation that they will buy the cotton at pre-agreed prices, whereby the loan amount will be deducted from the cotton proceeds,” he said.
Warren said the main buyers that entered into contractual arrangements with growers were Afrisian Limited, Chartia Textiles Limited, Malawi Cotton Company and Millennium Farms Limited.
Said Warren: “After the onset of the cotton buying season, some of the buyers faced challenges that limited their capacity to buy from their contracted growers.
“Cotton Council of Malawi, on two occasions, contacted the buyers that were unable to buy and gave them deadlines to meet.”
He added: “When they failed to meet the deadlines, and their contractual obligations to buy the crop, CCM invited other buyers to go ahead to buy from the growers. There were some delays in the process, and naturally the farmers were concerned with such delays.”