Cotton farmers in Malawi are all smiles following the raise in cotton prices by over 90 per cent for those on contract farming with Cotton Ginners Africa Limited.
The company’s general manager Spencer Dzimbiri told a news conference in Blantyre that the cotton firm will splash out K1.3 billion in loans for farm input for over 100000 cotton farmers.
Dzimbiri said this planting season, his company will be buying cotton at K375 per kilogram up from K195 kilogram per kilogram last year.
“We want to motivate our esteemed farmers to grow more cotton. In Malawi we have beautiful good land, beautiful weather and hard working people,” said Dzimbiri.
He said cotton production has been going down in Malawi from 100000 kilogrammes before 2005 to 40000 kilogrammes in 2006 way below the needed 300000 kilogrammes.
Cotton Farmers Association chairman George Duncan Nnesa was all smiles and agreed with Dzimbiri that this will indeed motivate him and his fellow cotton farmers.
He attributed the decline in cotton roduction in the past years to erratic rains, unfavourable weather and low prices which demotivated farmers.
Nnesa praised Cotton Ginners Africa Limited for giving the farmers another chance of farm inputs loans despite low collection rate last year.
In Malawi, cotton is the fourth largest agricultural export after tobacco, sugar and tea.