Some cotton farmers in the country have decried the leadership changes at State-produce trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) citing them as one of the reasons their cotton was sold at a lower price than the previous years’.
During random interviews with some farmers in Balaka and Chikwawa districts, the farmers said this year Admarc, which is the main buyer, did not buy their cotton, a situation which led to more supply and less demand thereby forcing them to sell at K320 per kilogramme (kg) despite that previously they sold at K375 per kg.
“This year we have not benefited anything from our cotton because Admarc and several ginneries were not forthcoming to buy from us. Previously, Admarc was providing us with inputs and pesticides and it was also buying our cotton early and at a good price.
A farmer, Wyson Likupe from Mandevu Village, T/A Nsamala in Balaka called on government and duty bearers such as members of Parliament (MPs) to assist them urgently by sending Admarc officials back to them with inputs and pesticides as well as to buy their cotton because the crop’s production has a huge economic potential to the country.
In an interview, Civil Society Platform for constructive Dialogue (CSP-CD) social commentator Oliver Nakoma said civil society organisations (CSOs) are also worried with how cotton farmers in the country have been short-changed.
“It is important that farmers should have many options of where they want to sell their cotton. As such, we feel it is important to take the farmers’ concerns at heart and look at the leadership woes at Admarc closely,” said Nakoma. n