Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation of Malawi (Admarc) has urged farmers in the country to start growing more cotton as the crop is in demand on international markets.
This is coming when government is being urged to promote the growing of other crops as tobacco is being shunned due to an anti-smoking campaign championed by the World Health Organization.
Director of operations for Admarc Fekson Kantonga said cotton is currently attracting more buyers on the international markets hence the need for farmers to plant more of the crop this growing season.
”On the international market a type of cotton like Makoka produce good quality crop which is favorable on the international market so the farmers must produce more cotton,” said Kamtonga.
According to reports, various countries such China – itself a major cotton producer – has shown interest to buy cotton from Malawi as it is of good quality.
The problem for Malawi however is low production of the crop as there is lack of motivation for farmers to continue growing the crop. In the past two years Malawi has failed to match its record cotton production which was recorded in the 2012/2013 growing season.
In that season Malawi produced 100,000 Metric Tonnes (MT) of the crop but output fell in 2014 when the country produced 45,000 MT which was followed by a production of 49,000 MT in 2015.
In the 2016 season, farmers only presented 13,000 MT of cotton against a local demand of 250,000 MT.