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Govt require merchants to seek permit for cotton trade
Mar '08
Recently, the Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has announced that all traders, organizations, and companies wanting to indulge in marketing of cotton would have to seek special trade permits.

Application seeking such permissions will have to be made to the Secretary of Agriculture and Food Security.

However, some of the private traders have expressed discontent with the decision on grounds that the move is not in line with the country's market liberalization policy. Besides, it is also likely to put rural farmers in a disadvantageous position.

On the other hand, the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) believes that this Governmental decision aims to ensure order and proper structuring of the industry. In other words, it has the potential to diversify country's economy.

Those applying for licenses to buy seed cotton must resort to the Licensing Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security headquarters starting from March 1.

Apprehensions have been posted by local merchants who strongly hold that the Government is trying to control the market. They suggest fixing of a minimum price for the commodities while also allowing numerable players to enter the market.

In fact, the regulation is expected to facilitate proper shift of crop trade from tobacco to cotton.

Cotton crop has better trading prospects and what is required is an organized trading and marketing system to achieve and increased production and sales.

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