Cotton production to increase

THE Zambia Cotton Ginners Association (ZCGA) says the country is expected to record an increase in production to 130,000 tonnes in the 2014/15 season from 95,000 tonnes the previous season.
The increase in production is attributed to the rise in the number of farmers and hectares planted in the season under review.
ZCGA executive secretary Bourne Chooka said all ginning companies have already distributed woolpacks to all their contracted farmers for them to pack their cotton.
“The cotton marketing season has commenced for the 2014/15 season. We are ready and are looking forward to a successful marketing season. The country is also expecting to buy about 130,000 tonnes of cotton compared to the previous season when only 95,000 tonnes of cotton was bought,” Mr Chooka said in a statement availed to the Daily Mail on Tuesday.
He said picking bags have also been distributed to farmers and weighing equipment in readiness for the intake season.
He, however, said the price of cotton is influenced by prevailing international cotton lint prices on the world market but regardless of this, cotton is a profitable crop to farmers and earns the country foreign exchange through exports.
“While we as an association are not permitted by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to discuss cotton producer pricing, we would like to assure the farming community that our main customer is the cotton farmer and we shall endeavour to provide the best in order for the farmer to continue growing cotton,” he said.
Mr Chooka also urged more farmers to participate in cotton production because most ginners are now adding extra inputs and extension support such as encouraging farmers to grow other crops like maize and soyabeans.
Mr Chooka said market for maize and soyabeans is also being provided by the ginners.

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