14 December 2012

Tanzania: State Vows to Seek External Cotton Markets

THE government has promised to get a lucrative cotton market abroad, to boost production of the crop in the Lake Zone.

The assurance was made by Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperative, Engineer Christopher Chiza, during his tour of Bunda district in Mara region, where he told cotton stakeholders and government staff that the Ministry is unwavering to find cotton growers market abroad.

"We are now fed up with the farmers' outcry about cotton prices being low and other related uncertainties which have made farmers to relinquish hope to grow cotton", says the minister.

Engineer Chiza said that some social security funds have also shown interest to help cotton sub sector where it had convinced ginning companies to make sure that farmers are well facilitated to eventually make them earn good pay.

A report issued recently by Bunda district shows some achievements in cotton growing where it says that in 2008/09 season, cotton production increased from 300 kilogrammes to 600 kilograms per hectare.

Cotton voucher subsidy also increased from 500 kilograms to 1200 per hectare. To increase cotton production, the government through Tanzania Cotton Board (TCB) has directed Mara region to produce cotton seed type UK 91. Cotton seeds are distributed to the farmers by Olam S&C Ltd ginning company.

Other companies include Alliances and Mathayo enterprises. Some challenges that most farmers face in Mara region include high price for cotton seeds for this season where the price is 1,200/- per kilogram, which is 9,000/-seeds for one hectare.

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