By Tione Andsen-Mana
Cotton marketing season has open and will run for 90 calendar days, Cotton Council of Malawi (CCM) has disclosed.
CCM Executive director, Cosmas Luwanda made the announcement Thursday in Lilongwe during a media briefing on the opening of the cotton marketing season.
He said buying of cotton products has commenced on April 18, 2019 and farmers are advised to sale their cotton at designated centres established by CCM.
“The minimum price for seed cotton for 2019 marketing season is K375.00/kg. The price has been arrived at through a rigorous consultative process with industry stakeholders taking in to account the cost of production and prevailing international market prices,” Luwanda explained.
He said the price has not change last year, farmers were selling their seed cotton despite that cotton at international markets have gone down.
Luwanda said cotton farmers would be deducted K20.00/kg to contribute to Cotton Development Fund and this means that growers would expect to take home price of K350.00/kg.
The Executive Director added CCM has passed regulations to guide cotton marketing in order to properly regulate the function of the market and protect the interest of seed cotton growers and buyers alike.
“Pursuant to the provisions of Cotton Act 2013 (45), buying of seed cotton will only be done at centres designated by CCM. Any cotton buyer who contravenes this order commits an offence under Cotton Act, 2013. Only licensed cotton buyers will be allowed to buy seed cotton,” he said adding that, “any person found buying seed cotton at anon-designated place without buying license, commit an offence under the cotton Act, 2013.”
Luwanda pointed out that buyers would be allocated centres at which they could buy seed cotton and where farmers entered into a production and marketing contract with one buyer, other buyers are not allowed to go and buy seed from the contacted farmers.
CCM is calling for the cooperation and collaboration of stakeholders in order to achieve the desired goal.
A market committee comprising Cotton Farmers Association representative and Ginners representatives has been formed at each centre.
In order to ensure proper enforcement of these regulations and marketing arrangements, 197 marketing posts have been designated across the country at which seed cotton is going to be traded.
Malawi is said to have produced 24,000 metric tonnes of cotton according the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Development second round crop estimates.