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Buyers rap hike in cotton rates – trade standstill

03
May '07
Government ruled, last week, that the minimum price of cotton should not be less than K40 per kilogram, which is a considerable rise from last year's price of K30.

The cotton buyers, however, are not accepting this price without a fight. Protesting this hike in price cotton consumers ceased all purchases from the farmers.

Justifying their side, the buyers are saying that the price is a little high since they also have to pay taxes.

Government has advised the farmers not to sell their produce at lower rates, bringing all trading to a standstill.

Meanwhile, cotton growers are hoping that the three sides reach a mutually beneficial compromise soon, so as to restore smooth dealings.

Administration said that it was aware of the current situation and is working out the possibilities.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Patrick Kabambe, told the media, “We are meeting within this week. I hear they (buyers) met yesterday. We need to hear why they have decided to stop buying cotton. There is no way we can reduce the price really. The prices were agreed by Cabinet; the issue may have to go back to Cabinet.”


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