Efforts to revamp the cotton sector in the country are being dealt a blow due to lack of competition as buyers continue to desert the local market, Weekend Business has learnt.
This year, only two cotton buyers, Afrisian Cotton Company and Malawi Cotton Company, are active on the market.
Confirming the development, Cotton Ginners board chairperson Amos Chipungu said few buyers are active due to low production of the commodity.
“There are indeed only two companies that bought cotton this year. This was because output was low and most ginners did not want to invest with farmers as they are not paying back input loans,” he said.
In an earlier interview, deputy director of crops in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Barthlomew Ngauma, said the exit of other buyers does not worry government as the buyers were pressing for lower minimum prices.
This season, cotton was sold at K320 per kilogramme, which is K55 lower than last season. n