Zambia has vast potential in cotton industry – Monde
Mazabuka, March 30, 2014, ZANIS —- Government says there is vast potential existing in cotton production and processing in the country that can be used in areas of investment, exports, and employment creation.
Agriculture and Livestock Deputy Minister Greyford Monde said that there is need to promote cost effective control technologies and strategies in cotton production industry as elsewhere in the world .
He said this is in order to reduce on the costs and improve the efficiency in managing cotton pests in the country.
The minister said this in Mazabuka’s Magoye area yesterday during a farmer’s field day at the Cotton Development Trust whose theme was “Technologies for improved crop production and productivity in a changing environment.”
Mr. Monde said despite cotton production having generally experienced growth and increased investment over the past several decades, there has however been a decrease in cotton production and farmers participation.
He singled out poor production skills as a major contributing factor that has led to low yields among cotton farmers due to inadequate farmer support especially extension, training and input supply.
The deputy minister said there is great need t improve cotton farmer’s skills, which should be done alongside improved good quality and affordable inputs such as seed and pesticides.
Mr. Monde stressed that increased yields of seed cotton would certainly improve incomes and contribute meaningfully to poverty reduction and economic growth.
He said although his ministry appreciates the vital role the cotton ginning companies were playing in the development of cotton in the country, he would like to see better and enhanced relationships between ginning companies and the cotton growers so that there is equitable sharing of not only risks but also benefits .