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Zambian govt not to fix cotton prices - Minister
04
Aug '12
As the Zambian Government runs a liberalized economy, it has no policy to fix prices of agricultural commodities including cotton, said Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Emmanuel Chenda.
 
He said price of any commodity is determined based on market forces and there is no Government interference in this regard.
 
Responding to an urge by Zambia National Farmers Union President Jervis Zimba that the Government should reconsider cotton prices for small farmers, Mr. Chenda said the Government leaves it to market forces to determine the prices.
 
Mr. Zimba’s call followed Zimbabwe’s move of setting cotton price at K 3,696 per kg, while the same quality cotton was traded at K 1,600 per kg in Zambia.
 
In his plea, Mr. Zimba said that there are international firms that purchase cotton both from Zambia and Zimbabwe and hence it would be unjust that local farmers fetch even below half the prices than what farmers in Zimbabwe would get for same quality produce.
 
In response, Mr. Chenda said that he would soon hold a meeting with all cotton industry stakeholders in the country to carve out the way further in view of the developments in the international market.
 
According to Cotton Board of Zambia, the country produced 200,000 metric tons of cotton this year, as against last year’s yield of 145,000 metric tons. The rise in production has been achieved due to an increase in number of cultivators and acreage, it noted.
 

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