By FRANK MUKUPA
BAYER Limited Company has expressed concerns over the decrease in cotton production in Zambia for the past few years.
Bayer Zambia Country Business Manager Paul Kapapula said growing cotton was becoming costly for farmers and that there was need to redress the issue.
He was speaking in an interview in Lusaka yesterday.
“Cotton is very important crop in this country and we should be interested to make sure that it does not lose value and look at how best we can improve it,” Mr Kapapula said.
Mr Kapapula said the company was aware of the challenges that farmers were facing such as low cotton yield and high cost of inputs.
As a result, he said, famers were diverting into other crops as cotton production continued to go down.
“We have introduced the new seed treatment which would help farmers to spread their crops and stop crop diseases. It covers the farmers for six to eight weeks,” Mr Kapapula has said.
Mr Kapapula said Bayer was trying to bring together the players in the cotton industry.
“The history from Government focus from 2012 to 2018, the country has been losing the hectares of cotton. We were sitting around 200,000 hectares in 2010 and it has been dropping with the latest one for 2017/2018 being at 113,000. If you look at that drop, it’s quite massive,” Mr Kapapula said.
Mr Kapapula said the decline was being taken into groundnuts and maize, which was not good for the country because cotton was one of source of revenue in Zambia.