Farmers in Eastern Province threaten to stop growing cotton

Some farmers in Eastern Province have threatened to stop growing cotton due to the poor prices offered by companies.
Contributing to a good governance programme on Breeze FM, some farmers accused cotton companies of making huge profits, while cotton growers have remained poor.
They observed that most companies increased prices of seed and other inputs, but have shockingly reduced the buying prices by about 70 ngwee per kilogram.
The farmers also accused a named cotton company of being the major culprit, as it often intimidates other companies that offer better prices.
And during the programme, a farmer, Agrippa Zulu said that companies are not sincere, as they often offer better prices towards the end of the marketing season when most farmers have already sold their crop.
He says that companies promise farmers that they would be given money popularly known top ups if the prices go up towards the end of the buying season, but the money is never paid.
And Cotton Association of Zambia CAZ board member, Michael Banda, said that the association is facing challenges to negotiate better prices for farmers as it was barred by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
He however, said that the association engages the Ginners association to see how farmers can get better prices.

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