Cotton production in Malawi is set to increase in the coming years due to Greenbelt Authority’s decision to venture into the production of cotton on a large scale in Salima District.
Greenbelt Authority chief executive officer Eric Chidzungu said that they ventured into growing cotton to revive cotton production in the country.
He said the authority has already planted 122 hectares of cotton seeds at its Chipoka Cotton Mega Farm in Salima.
Chidzungu said: “With an estimated 300 000 tonnes of yields from the farm, the authority is upbeat of profits as a result of technical expertise at its disposal, hybrid seeds and mechanisation used to ensure maximum productivity.
He was speaking on Monday after visiting the Chipoka Cotton Mega Farm to monitor the progress of herbicidation to cotton crops.
The Greenbelt Authority’s chief said they will also leverage on technology and growth opportunities in the production and processing of cotton and related products for high returns.
“We are optimistic and positive of high cotton yields. But apart from growing the crop, we have plans to revitalise ginning factories across the country as part of value addition,” said Chidzungu.
The decision by the Greenbelt Authority to venture into cotton production and establish ginneries falls in line with the Malawi 2063 Implementation Plan, MIP-1, which is being championed by President Dr Lazarus Chakwera.
These priority programmes seek to increase agricultural productivity, commercialisation, and industrialisation.
In his State of the Nation Address, Chakwera touted mega farms such as the one run by Greenbelt Authority in Salima as having created hundreds of job opportunities for the people surrounding the farm.
Greenbelt Authority is also in partnership with AUM Sugar of India, jointly operating Salima Sugar Scheme in the same district producing Salima Sugar.
The authority is also in partnerships with various entities producing rice, maize and other crops in various districts including Karonga, Mangochi and Chikwawa.
“Greenbelt Authority assures the country that Malawi will benefit tremendously from Chipoka Cotton Mega Farm through generation of foreign currency from the exportation of the cotton products,” said Chidzungu.