Players in the cotton industry are optimistic about the productivity of cotton in the 2013/14 season, arguing that unlike last year, they are ahead of the game this year.
Cotton is one of the country’s strategic crops, alongside tobacco, tea and maize. According to some experts, the crop has business linkages right from the field to ginning, spinning, weaving and to textile manufacturing plants.
Speaking at a press briefing that was held on cotton production promotion, chairperson of the Association of Malawian Cotton Ginners, Spencer Zinyemba, said they have already sourced the seeds and chemicals, and will start registering farmers from September 16.
“We are now moving towards registering farmers to see which farmers are coming on board and to find out if the hectarage that we have targeted, 150 000, is adequate; if not, we will look for additional input,” said Zinyemba.
Last season was marred by late availability of seeds, pesticides and drought.
He said the association expects everything to be bright this year. He noted that two years ago, 100 000 metric tonnes of cotton was produced, but last year, the national production went down to about 42 000 metric tonnes.
He, however, pointed out that they are looking at much more than the 42 000 metric tonnes.
Malawi currently exports 95 percent of the cotton, while the remaining five percent is processed locally.