Fake seed contributing to cotton under-production

Cotton farmers

Cotton Council of Malawi Board chairperson, Martin Mpata has attributed the dwindling production of cotton in the country to the continued use of sub-standard seeds that other companies supply to farmers.

Mpata said this during the Cotton Farmers Association Annual General Meeting held in Blantyre on Wednesday.

Currently Malawian farmers produce less than 20,000 metric tonnes of cotton against the demanded 600,000 metric tons by cotton ginners in the country.

“We have discovered that somewhere, somehow, some people were cheating the farmers by bringing in substandard seed that would not grow or if it grew could not produce the cotton balls which is most important.

"We are doing away with that, we are bringing in the seed that they will all enjoy. The seed has already been tested on the market the farmers bought last year and planted it. Those who did will enjoy the fruits of cotton this year,” he said.

The AGM attracted cotton farmers from across the country. Member of the board of trustees for the Cotton Farmers Association senior Chief Ngabu urged the farmers to be united to achieve their objectives as they strive to make cotton one of the major income generating crops for the country.

Malwi produced an estimated 24,000 metric tonnes of cotton this year up from 15,000 in the previous year. Cotton is the fourth major export earner for the country after tobacco, tea and sugar.

Cotton farmers