The Cotton Association of Zambia (CAZ) has called for the adoption of the Cotton Bill to provide for a fair and more representative law.
CAZ Exective Director, John Ngwenyama, said the current Act does not recognize the Association as the cotton farmer’s representative.
Ngwenyama said this in Chongwe District on Wednesday ahead of the commemoration of World Cotton Day under the global theme, ‘Making cotton fair and sustainable for all, from farm to fashion.
He said failure to recognise the Association under the current Act, has led to cotton being exploited by cotton buyers in the country as it was unable to set prices and negotiate on behalf of them.
“As farmers, we have participated in the review of the Cotton Act of 2005, and we would like to solicit your support as it goes to Parliament in the next weeks,” Ngwenyama said.
He noted the need to establish price setting mechanism as the current pricing in the cotton industry was done by Cotton companies who have their own costing and pricing models.
Ngwenyama said farmers feel that the current pricing does not represent a true reflection of what was supposed to be paid as a producer price.
“To eliminate this industry mistrust among stakeholders a well prescribed pricing model which is transparent to everybody should be incorporated in the Act so that farmers would be able to make an informed decision ahead of the production season,” he said.
Ngwenyama said farmers also need certified cotton seed and pesticides and their availability on the market.
“Currently, as farmers we cannot walk into an agro dealer and purchase cotton seed, we need to wait for the ginners to distribute to us to be able to access cotton seed. As farmers we are demanding to have cotton seed available on the open market. As for cotton chemicals, we would like to have access to certified cotton chemicals to be able to grow cotton and achieve high yields,” he said.
Ngwenyama said cotton farmers also needed harmonized extension services.
He added that there was also need for value addition initiatives because there were weavers at the grassroots calling for capacity building to be able to innovate for industrial purpose, with mechanization.
WARNING! All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express permission from ZAMBIA MONITOR.