Smallholder Cotton Farmers Concerned with Seed Prices
In Balaka, cotton farmers have decried the hike in cotton seed prices in the previous year and poor prices on the market as a set back to the farming.
Salimu Makiyi, Chairperson for Kachere Cotton Cooperative under Rivirivi Extension Planning Area-(EPA), argues that the development threatens many growers to abandon the farming if not addressed.
He made the remarks on Thursday last week during a Field Day which Balaka District Agriculture Extension Coordinating Committee (Daecc) in conjunction with Machinga District Agriculture Development Division conducted to appreciate the cotton farming besides livestock and other crop production the district.
Director of crop development in the ministry of Agriculture, Elida Kazira, says the concerns raised by the farmers are genuine.
Balaka has a total population of 460, 000 people with a total of 21, 1716 hectares of arable land with 864 hectares under conservation agriculture.
The theme for the filed day was "Enterprise diversification, Re-investing in soil health, and stakeholders involvement - Key to food, nutrition and income security" which took place at Khwisa football ground spiced up with activities like drama, poems and dances.