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Alba Iulia
Sunday, January 23, 2022

Cotton is vital for Zambia’s economic growth — Zulu

Economy Cotton is vital for Zambia's economic growth -- Zulu

Harvested Cotton
Harvested Cotton

Government says cotton remains to be the most important commercial crops in Zambia, especially in Eastern Province where for decades, farmers in the region have adopted and embraced the crop’s cultivation.

And Cotton Board of Zambia Executive Director, Dafulin Kaonga reaffirmed the Boards commitment to provide regulatory and economic environment conducive for the sustainable production.

ZANIS reports thart Eastern Province Minister, Makebi Zulu, says cotton farming continues to be one of the main sources of foreign revenue for the country.

Mr Zulu states that farmers have evidenced from the field visit conducted today revealed the significant improvement in the cotton yields across the country where it has made the country a net exporter of the commodity.

He said this in a speech read on his behalf by Eastern Province Deputy Permanent Secretary, Patrick Mwanawasa, at a Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (MAHYCO) from India, Cotton Field Day in Kapasa area in Chief Chanje’s area in Chipata City.

He said there is need to replicate the success to other crops to help the agricultural diversification which is the aim of the government to make the industry one of the main stay of the economy.

“Over many years of cultivation now, the yields levels of normal varieties have dwindled hence the need to bring in new seed technologies which are stronger high yielding and more tolerant to pest and diseases to ensure high yield”, he said.

He stated that the yield advantage from the hybrid cotton seed ranges form 70-100 percent more as compared to current open pollinated varieties which mostly depend upon the crop management.

Mr Zulu says government recognizes the efforts put up by private seed companies like MAHYCO for introducing, testing and developing of the new technology.

He has since encouraged the company to continue with the collaborative vefforts with other organizations such as Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI), Cotton Board of Zambia (CBZ), Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI) and farmers to create a comprehensive awareness.

” Improved hybrid cotton seed is an important step towards national productivity enhancement for excellent commercial crop yields by hard working Zambian farmers, ” he said.

Mr Zulu noted that government is aware of the major challenges faced by the farming community related with cotton cultivation and is always open to put up measures to overcome them adding that it is important to balance up by adopting new technologies towards productivity improvement in cotton. .

While country continues to shape up price stabilization strategies to support cotton, there is need to avail farmers with quality seed as it is the first requirement towards successful cultivation of any crop, he said.

“The challenge is not just to produce more cotton, but to produce it in a smarter and better ways, with the advances made Worldwide in research, a small change in agronomical practice often creates a huge difference in the final outcome,”he said.

Speaking earlier, Cotton Board of Zambia Executive Director, Dafulin Kaonga reaffirmed the Boards commitment to provide regulatory and economic environment conducive for the sustainable production.

Mr Kaonga stated that the Board will also maintain its stance to provide regulatory ginning and marketing of high quality cotton for the benefit of the cotton industry.

He said as the Board, it will persevere in promoting the use of high quality cotton seeds by farmers, enforcing seed cotton grading and lint classification among others.

Mr Kaonga noted that the Board appreciates MAHYCO Seed Company for availing farmers with the hybrid seed cotton variety for farmers to get proper yields which will bring great transformation in their
lives.

And MAHYCO Business Development Lead in Zambia, Abhijeet Jyotishi says 1500 hectares cotton fields were planted in Southern Province aimed at reproducing the seed locally to reduce on cost.

Mr Jyotishi adds that the move will benefit the farmers in several ways, across the country, among them high number of balls per plant and also susceptible to being attacked by pests including high yields.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Now its cotton that is vital to economic growth! We have heard the same on paprika, peanuts, sunflower, tobacco, sorghum, cashew, jatropha, castor and, many more other crops while grappling with upping and sustaining maize production! The diversification song is being sung without producing a record! Point is each crop has its place in driving the economy as there is use for it by someone or some industry. Policy on agriculture is a failed prospect and as things go Agro diversity in Zambia will remain a stalled pipe dream with the current visionless public sector authority!

  2. We now have this new hybrid cotton, increased yield less lint les waste an better ginning.
    Can we as a nation take this further, rather than exporting and creating jobs overseas, can we utilize our our mulungushi textile mills to produce yarn, fabric, clothing and then export and at the same time create much needed employment for our own people whilst also earning forex. More money earnt in our community leads to more money spent in our community leads to more employment to satisfy greater demand.
    Can we do it. Yes Zambia can do it provided the government of the day has tne vision and determination .

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