Zambia records slump in cotton production in 2013

Fairtrade cotton farmers
Fairtrade cotton farmers

Zambia has seen a slump in cotton production this year largely due to a reduction in the hectares farmers planted the crop, state media reported on Thursday.

Cotton production in the southern African nation slumped by 48 percent because many farmers did not plant the crop as a result of low prices that emerged last year, according to the Times of Zambia.

The country produced 100,000 tons of cotton in 2013, 48 percent less than the 275,000 tons harvested in 2012.

Zambia Cotton Ginners Association executive secretary Bourne Chooka said 415,000 hectares of arable land was however earmarked for cotton plantation in the on-going 2013/2014 crop farming season.

The official said cotton production was expected to increase to 150,000 tons in the coming season due to an increase in the planted area, adding that the association was eager to see more investment to enhance value addition in cotton spinning.

“Everything concerning the cotton farming season is in place, the seed has already been distributed and we are looking forward to a fruitful season especially if the weather patterns are favorable,” he was quoted as saying by the paper.

In 2013, Zambia earned 70 million U. S. dollars from cotton exports despite low prices, he added.