Quton Malawi Limited in collaboration with Makoka Research Station and selected farmers in Chikhwawa, is implementing a cotton seed multiplication programme in a bid to stop reliance on imported seeds.
Speaking during a field day in the district on Wednesday, Quton Malawi general manager John Lungu said the programme is important since it will save the much needed foreign exchange spent on imported cotton seeds. He also said, farmers have been using untreated cotton seeds which have germination problems.
“We started local production of cotton seeds last year but because it was the first year we could not meet Malawi’s demand. We have invested about K400 million (about $100 000) in an acid linting machine in Lilongwe which will produce quality and tested seeds. Previously we have been buying cotton seeds from Zambia and Zimbabwe but sometimes the cotton seeds have come here very late which results in late planting which in itself is a defeat as far as achieving high yields is concerned,” said Lungu.
Speaking during the field day, one of the farmers engaged in seed multiplication, Regina Andireya, said she was encouraged by the output from her field and would always use commercial methods.