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Govt support can boost contract farming in cotton: TCB
11
Sep '13
The Tanzania Cotton Board (TCB) has sought Government support for boosting contract farming in the East African country.
 
TCB acting director general Gabriel Mwalo recently said that contract farming is the best way through which cotton farmers can reap maximum output. 
 
Cotton farming in Tanzania suffers mainly due to constraints like use of uncertified cotton seeds, lack of farming machinery as well as little or no use of fertilizers, and contract farming is the answer to all these constraints, he said.
 
Under the system, farmers would enter into written contracts with buyers to supply specific quantities of crops for which the latter would undertake to pay a pre-determined price and also supply farmers with appropriate farming inputs, pesticides, etc. on loan basis.
 
Mr. Mwalo said there is great potential in contract farming which has yet not been exploited, as investors hesitate to invest adequately in the system either due to lack of stringent norms or for the want of Government support.
 
Due attention and intervention by the Government can help in developing a sustainable environment for contract farming and enhance crop output, he added.
 
According to TCB, average cotton output per acre in Tanzania presently stands at around 250-300 kg, which can be raised to 1,200-1,500 kg per acre if some basic issues impeding cotton production are addressed and the Government intervenes and supports contract farming.
 
With over 400,000 farmers engaged in cotton farming, the country reaped around 360,000 tons of cotton during last season, 57 percent more than 255,000 tons produced in 2011-12.
 
According to the Bank of Tanzania's Monthly Economic Review for July 2013, the country made around US$ 159.3 million in cotton exports during the cotton year that ended in June 2013, above previous year’s exports of US$ 87.6 million.
 
TCB is the regulatory authority responsible for promoting production, processing and marketing of cotton in Tanzania.
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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