Cotton farmers in Chipata reveal being forced to sign contracts which they do not understand with merchants.

Some small scale cotton farmers in Chipata have revealed that they are normally forced to sign contracts with merchants without understanding the content of the agreement.
Speaking to Breeze News, Whiteson Lungu of Londolani village in Chief Chikube says that the companies do not take into consideration that some farmers are uneducated.
Mr. Lungu, who is also village headman Londolani, expressed his displeasure with companies that have already commenced the distribution exercise of empty cotton bags to farmers, even before the floor price for cotton is announced.
He appealed to government to move in and regulate companies that hike buying prices towards the end of the marketing season, as the trend lives farmers in an awkward position.
And Cotton Association of Zambia CAZ Vice-Chairperson Michael Banda acknowledged that most farmers do not understand the contracts.
He stated that farmers only sign for the seeds and pesticides and not the floor prices.
Mr. Banda says that this normally results in farmers, be caught by surprise when the buying prices are announced, as they usually do not relate to the cost of producing the crop.

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