The Cotton Association of Zambia (CAZ) has said, the production of cotton in the country has declined by about ninety five percent.
CAZ Executive Director, John Ngwenyama, said the cotton industry has reduced from 250,000 tons to 25, 000 tones.
Mr Ngwenyama said most cotton farmers lost interest in the production of the crop because of poor chemicals and recycled cotton seed that the ginners sold to farmers.
Speaking at a stakeholders awareness meeting which was aimed at reviewing the cotton Act of 2005, he disclosed that farmers did not constantly engage into cotton farming because they were sold cotton seed that lost its value, resulting into poor cotton production.
“Most of our farmers have lost interest in cotton cultivation as a result of poor chemicals and recycled cotton seed that the ginners sell to the farmers hence resulting into poor production.
“When the ginners buy raw cotton from our farmers, they extract oil from the cotton seed and the seed is later sold back to our farmers and it does not geminate because it loses quality,” Mr Ngwenyama said.
He further noted that farmers who grew cotton faced challenges of low prices and harmonized extension services.
Mr Ngwenyama appealed to the government to look into the matter and come up with solutions that would revive the cotton industry in Zambia.
“We are asking the government to look into the pricing model and indicators in order for us to increase the cotton production because our farmers are finding it difficult,” he said.
Meanwhile, Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECCPI) Executive Director, Kennedy Mumba, has urged cotton growers not to be selling cotton together with its seed but they should be selling cotton and its seed separately so that they made more profits.
“There is need for farmers to be sensitized so that they should be selling cotton and its seeds separately because the seed is taken outside the country for free and when cotton is exported the seed is lost and what will be brought back in the country is recycled,” he said.