Salima — Minister of Trade, Sosten Gwengwe says he is impressed with the contribution cotton investment companies are making to boost the cotton industry in the country.
Gwengwe made the remarks on Saturday when he visited the China-Africa Textile Company in Salima to appreciate the work the company is carrying out in the domestic market and also to address challenges the company is currently facing.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA), Gwengwe said companies such as China-Africa Textile Company have huge potential to boost the country’s economy.
“The availability of markets and good prices motivate farmers to grow more cotton, therefore, the presence of this company will encourage more farmers to venture into growing cotton as they will know that there is readily available market in the country,” said Gwengwe.
General Manager for China-Africa Textile Company, Huang Hai, said the company is facing a lot of challenges such as power blackouts and shortage of cotton lint in the country.
Hai said the company demands 20 000 metric tonnes of cotton lint per year, of which farmers provide only 10 000 metric tonnes, thereby affecting production.
He also complained that besides affecting economic trends, COVID-19 pandemic has affected the company’s production and the purchase of the cash crop from local farmers this year.
To avert shortage of cotton, Gwengwe earlier advised Malawians to prioritise on feeding the local industries with raw materials so that they should be able to add value to the products before exporting them.