Business

Cotton board talks tough

TRYNESS MBALE, Lusaka
THE Cotton Board of Zambia (CBZ) has written to three cotton ginning companies to stop buying seed cotton from farmers they did not pre-finance as this may affect the growth of the sector.
CBZ Secretary Dafulin Kaonga said the action being taken by these ginning companies is making it difficult for the board to implement the code of conduct signed by all the ginners, prior to the start of the 2014/15 cotton marketing season.
Last year, ginners signed a code of conduct that was witnessed by the CBZ, as the regulator, and the Cotton Association of Zambia, representing farmers, to self-regulate their crop marketing activities to address the challenge of some farmers who entice other ginners to side buy their crop financed by others.
Mr Kaonga said buying seed cotton from farmers they did not pre-finance is a violation of the Cotton Act, and the board will take stiff action against them if they continue with this malpractice.
“Warning letters have been written to three cotton ginning companies to stop buying seed cotton from farmers that they did not pre-finance,” he said in a statement availed to the Daily Mail on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Zambia Cotton Ginners Association (ZCGA) executive secretary Bourne Chooka said ginners spend a lot of money to provide inputs to cotton farmers, and these funds are only recovered when the commodity is delivered to them during the marketing season.
“We wish to commend the CBZ for its tireless efforts to protect the investments of the ginning companies in the country. Ginners spend amounts in excess of US$15million annually in input provision to cotton farmers, and these monies are only recovered through delivery of cotton to them.
“I wish to thank Government for having provided and facilitated a private sector- led cotton marketing season. The season has been peaceful, and the relationship with the public sector is good,” Mr Chooka said.


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