The minimum farm gate prices for cotton have been set at K375 per kilogramme from last year’s K320, officials have disclosed.
Ministry of Agriculture jointly with the Cotton Council of Malawi (CCM) and the Cotton Farmers Association of Malawi (Cfam) revealed on Friday that this year’s prices are up by 17 percent.
CCM Executive Director, Cosmas Luwanda said the increase in the minimum prices followed a rigorous consultative process with industry stakeholders who considered the cost of production and prevailing international market prices.
“We have put in place regulations to be followed to properly regulate the function of the market, among them buying of seed cotton will only be done at centres designated by the council, only licensed buyers will be allowed to buy and farmers under contract farming will not be allowed to sell to other buyers other than the company they entered a contract with, among other regulations,” Luwanda said.
Director of Crop Development in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Godfrey Ching’oma, concurred with Luwanda, stressing that the ministry has started arresting people who buying from farmers without license and in undesignated places.
Ching’oma further said the recent trends in the cotton industry such as the increase in cotton prices this year is an indication that the cotton industry is on a rebound to reclaim its lost glory.
Cfam President, George Duncan Nesa, said the minimum price is a good starting point and they expect the prices to increase to more than K400 a kilogramme at the peak of the marketing season.
“For a start, it is good because, when it comes to money, nobody is satisfied, but this is okay for now and we will continue to engage the buyers to lobby for even higher prices than the set K375 a kilogramme,” Nesa said.
This year cotton marketing season will open on April 27 and will run for 90 calendar daysFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :