COTTON stakeholders in the country are finally making headway into streamlining contract farming ahead of this year's season starting in November.
Speaking to the 'Daily News' in an interview, investors who are actually owners of cotton ginneries vowed their support on the new push by the government, saying that it will lead to increased production of cotton if well implemented.
"We will continue to work closely with the government towards improving production in the sector," said Mr Amini Ladhani of Mwatex Limited. This comes weeks after a cotton stakeholders meeting in Mwanza officially announced a 'No Investment No Cotton' policy in a bid to streamline the contract farming system.
In the last season we spent over 100m/- in supporting contract farming and we intend to do the same this season. "We have no problems with CDTF (Cotton Development Trust Fund) but if they just reduce their expenses and also cut down levies to farmers it can go a long way towards improving the sector," Mr Ladhani added.
The policy gives the right of buying cotton only to ginning companies that provided inputs, insecticides and certified seeds to farmers prior to a planting season. According to the Managing Director of KBL Enterprises Limited, Mr Bonaventure Kiswaga, contract formats for the production contracts have been agreed upon.
He said local government authorities were setting conducive environment that will allow a win-win situation for both the farmers and investors. The Magu District Commissioner, Ms Jacquline Liana said their role as government leaders was to attract investments to support farmers that wish to be in cotton production in the district.
"If the farmers get access to credit then growing cotton becomes more productive for the farmer," she said. "We want them to commit to support a minimum number of farmers depending on their financial capabilities."
According to Tanzania Cotton Board (TCB) acting Zonal Manager, Kalidushi Buluma ginners sat down with Tanzania Cotton Association late in September and came up with MoU modules to be used in contract farming. "So far we have seen this season regional and district commissioners from Geita, Mara, Mwanza, Shinyanga, Tabora and Simuyu regions all taking steps to attract ginner investment, " he said.