Parliamentary committee warns of abolishing cotton council

The Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change has asked the Cotton Council to scale up its operations or risk being abolished.

The council appeared before the parliamentary committee on Thursday where it was observed that cotton farming has tremendously dwindled in the country over the past years.

Werani Chilenga

Chairperson of the committee, Werani Chilenga, said the council has been passive and there is very little that cotton farmers have been doing.

“Government’s aim for establishing the Cotton Council was to make sure that cotton farming develops but that’s not what has happened. In the past cotton was grown in abundance in Karonga, Nkhotakota, Salima, Balaka and the Lower Shire. This is not the case now. Cotton ginneries are no longer operational because very little cotton is being grown.

“We have told them that there should be an improvement by next year. If this does not happen, we will simply ask parliament to abolish the council so that the Ministry of Agriculture can take over,” explained Chilenga.

Director of the Cotton Council, Cosmas Luwanda, said the council will follow the advice from members of parliament.

“This was a successful meeting. They have actually given us advice on how best we can move on. I should also point out that the Covid-19 pandemic and recently the cyclones have affected cotton farming in the country. But we will do all we can to make sure that things get on the right track,” remarked Luwanda.

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