About 220 cotton markets are set to be established across the country this selling season, Cotton Council of Malawi has confirmed.
Executive Director Cosmas Luwanda told local media that there are 270 proposed cotton marketing centers but will reduce the figure to 270 for easy monitoring.
The Cotton Farmers Association is optimistic that the markets will necessitate competition among buyers for the benefit of cotton growers.
Luwanda said they have conducted consultations with ginners and cotton growers and are yet to finalize the list of the approved cotton markets.
Luwanda added that the Cotton Council of Malawi has engaged extension workers to assess the markets in readiness for the selling season expected to kick start mid-April.
Prior to the opening of the markets, Luwanda said they will conduct national wide sensitization meetings on their operations.
The Cotton Council of Malawi has commended ginners for having interest in the cotton markets and supporting growers with 560 tons of seed and chemicals during planting and production stages.
The Cotton Council of Malawi also disclosed that price negotiation meetings are in progress and will announce the minimum price for cotton probably next week.
At least 60, 000 farmers have grown cotton this year which Luwanda said it is an improvement from last year’s 30, 000.
He said production will slightly be lower than expected due to pests which attacked cotton in some districts as a result of the dry spell.
Cotton Farmers Association secretary Friday Simango said the establishment of specialized cotton markets will necessitate competition among buyers which will lead to improved prices.