REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE STATEMENT

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1 REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE STATEMENT COMPILED BY COTTON BOARD OF ZAMBIA FOR THE 74th ICAC PLENARY AT MUMBAI, INDIA. 6TH -11TH DECEMBER 2015

2 1. CHAIRPERSON, DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES, OBSERVERS, GUESTS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, FIRSTLY, I, ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PEOPLE OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA, WISH TO THANK THE CHAIR PERSON OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COTTON ADVISORY COMMITTEE (ICAC) AND THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, FOR HAVING INVITED MY DELEGATION TO THE 74TH PLENARY MEETING OF THE ICAC BEING HELD IN THIS, HISTORICAL CITY OF MUMBAI. MY DELEGATION AND I HAVE SINCE OUR ARRIVAL CONTINUED TO FEEL THE WARMTH AND WELCOME OF THE GREAT AND FRIENDLY PEOPLE OF THIS WONDERFUL COUNTRY. 2. COTTON PRODUCTION PRODUCTION OF LINT BY ZAMBIAN GINNERS (OUT-GROWER SCHEMES) TOTALLED 48,000 TONS FOR THE 2014/15 MARKETING YEAR, UP BY 15% FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR, DESPITE THE COUNTRY EXPERIENCING UNFAVOURABLE GROWING CONDITIONS. THIS INCREASE COULD BE EXPLAINED BY AN INCREASE IN AREA UNDER COTTON WHICH INCREASED BY 2% AND AN INCREASE IN YIELD WHICH INCREASED BY 13% FROM 0.328MT TO 0.371MT OF LINT COMPARED TO THE PREVIOUS YEAR. CHAIRPERSON AND DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES, PRODUCTION OF SEED COTTON IN ZAMBIA LIKE IN MOST COTTON PRODUCING COUNTRIES IS MAINLY AFFECTED BY THE PRICE OF LINT AT THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET AND WEATHER CONDITION. WHEN THE PRICE IS HIGH FARMERS RESPOND BY INCREASING THE HECTARAGE AND VICE VERSA. AS A COUNTRY WE HAVE RESOLVED TO IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY OF OUR COTTON FARMERS TO ENHANCE PRODUCTION AS THAT IS THE SUSTAINABLE WAY TO GO. WITH THE SUPPORT OF FAO ZAMBIA HELP A WORKSHOP FOR ALL STAKEHOLDERS TO PILOT MEASUREMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE COTTON PRODUCTION. CONSENSUS WAS BUILT ON MOST RELEVENT SUSTAINBLITY 2

3 ISSUES, PRIORITIED SUSTAINABLE THEMES AND INDICATERS AND DEVELOP A MONITORING PLAN TO PILOT THE FRAME WORK. THIS WAS THE FIRST STEP IN THE PROCESS GOVERNMENT CONTINUE TO PLAY A ROLE IN THE PRODUCTION, MARKETING AND PROCESSING OF COTTON. SOME STAKEHOLDERS LIKE COTTON ASSOCIATION ARE RESPONDING TO CALLS BY GOVERNMENT TO VALUE ADDITION THROUGH ITS SUPPORT TO SPINNING AND HANDLOOM DEVELOPMENT IN ZAMBIA BASED AT THE COTTON INPUT PACKAGE UPTAKE BY THE FARMERS THIS SEASON, PRODUCTION PROSPECTS FOR THE APPROACHING PLANTING SEASON REMAIN FAVOURABLE. THERE IS RENEWED INTEREST IN COTTON PRODUCTION DUE TO THE IMPROVEMENT IN COTTON PRICES, HIGH COST OF FERTILIZERS AND THE WEAKENING OF THE KWACHA OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS. CHALLENGES OF COTTON THE SECTOR A) LOW PRODUCTION AND PRODUCTIVITY THOUGH PRODUCTIVITY OF LINT HAS MARGINALLY IMPROVED BY 3% ON AVERAGE DURING THE PAST 5 YEARS, IT STILL REMAINS THE BIGGEST CONCERN IN THE SMALLHOLDER COTTON SECTOR. DURING THE PAST 5 YEARS, THE AVERAGE YIELD OF LINT FOR OVER 90% OF SMALLHOLDER FARMERS HAS BEEN AROUND 356KG PER HECTARE. LOW COTTON YIELDS HAMPER INCOME GROWTH IN THE SMALLHOLDER COTTON SECTOR AND REDUCE ITS COMPETITIVENESS. THE IMPORTANT FACTORS CONSTRAINING YIELDS ARE PROLONGED DRY SPELLS, UNTIMELY APPLICATION OF AGRONOMIC PRACTICES, POOR SOIL FERTILITY, INADEQUATE DRAFT POWER, ADOPTION OF POOR PRODUCTION PRACTICES AND INADEQUATE ACCESS TO IMPROVED PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGIES. 3. TRADE ZAMBIAN COTTON LINT CONSUMPTION BY DOMESTIC SPINNERS IS STILL SMALL AND AMOUNTED TO LESS THAN 5% IN 2014/15. THIS IS DUE TO THE COLLAPSE OF THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY. THEREFORE, ALMOST ALL THE LINT PRODUCED IN ZAMBIA IS EXPORTED TO THE FAR EAST, INDIA AND SOUTH AFRICA. HOWEVER, THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT IS SEEKING TO ENHACE VALUE ADDITION TO COTTON BY DEVELOPING AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR BOTH LOCAL AND FOREIGN INVESTORS WHICH WILL CREATE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR ZAMBIANS. 4. LINT QUALITY AND CHARACTERISTICS 3

4 ZAMBIA HAS THREE COTTON VARIETIES WHICH FARMERS PLANT. THESE COTTON VARIETIES ARE OF THE MEDIUM STAPLE LENGTH. THE SEED COTTON IS HANDPICKED AND IS SUBJECTED TO A NUMBER OF QUALITY CONTROL THAT SEEK TO MINIMIZE CONTAMINATION OF LINT. THE BASIC CHARACTERISTICS OF THESE COTTON VARIETIES ARE ON AVERAGE 4.1 MICRONAIRE, 23.6 STRENGTH (G-TEX) AND 29.4 STAPLE LENGTH. THE RESEARCH AT COTTON DEVELOPMENT TRUST CONTINUE TO IMPROVE ON THE FIBRE CHARESTERISTICS AND YIELD IMPROVEMENTS 5. INTRODUCTION OF BT. COTTON ZAMBIA HAS A BIO SAFETY ACT AND POLICY IN PLACE SINCE HOWEVER, THE COUNTRY HAS NEVER ADOPTED THE TECHNOLOGY YET DESPITE SOME FARMERS SHOWING INTEREST IN THE TECHNOLOGY. FOR ANY ADOPTION OR EVEN START OF THE TRIALS, THE APPLICATION MUST BE CLEARED BY BIO SAFETY COUNCIL OF ZAMBIA. CHAIRPERSON, DISTIGUISHED DELEGATES, THE COTTON DEVELOPMENT TRUST (CDT) HAS SUBMITTED AN APPLICATION FOR A POSSIBLE TEST OF THE TECHNOLOGY IN OUR LOCAL ENVIRONMENT. HOWEVER, THE PROCESS OF EVALUATING THE APPLICATIONS HAS BEEN SLOW FROM THE BIO SAFETY COUNCIL. 6. REGIONAL COLLABORATION ZAMBIA IS A MEMBER OF THE AFRICAN COTTON TEXTILES INDUSTRIES FEDERATION (ACTIF), THE SOUTHERN AND EASTERN AFRICAN COTTON FORUM (SEACF). MOZAMBIQUE ZAMBIA ZIMBABWE AND MALAWI ( MOZAZIMA) WHOSE SECRETARIAT IS DOMICILED IN ZAMBIA. THE COUNTRY HAS DURING THE YEAR BEEN ACTIVELY PARTICIPATING IN THE MEETINGS AND SEMINARS OF ACTIF AND MOZAZIMA. 7. FUTURE PROSPECTS 1. HARMONISED EXTENSION AND PRODUCTION EFFORTS TO IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY 2. IMPROVE SEED COTTON MARKETING SYSTEM THROUGH ESTABLISHMENT OF CENTRAL MARKETING POINTS 3. INITIATE AND SUPPORT PROGRAMMES TO REDUCE CONTAMINATION OF LINT AND IMPROVE QUALITY STANDARDS 4. SUPPORT EFFORTS TO SENSITISE AND INTRODUCTION OF BIOTECHNOLOGY IN COTTON PRODUCTION 8. CLOSING 4

5 FINALLY, CHAIRPERSON, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE ORGANISING COMMITTEE OF THIS MEETING FOR THE WARM AND CORDIAL WELCOME ACCORDED TO ME AND MY DELEGATION AND FOR THE EXCELLENT ARRANGEMENTS PUT IN PLACE FOR THE MEETING. THIS HAS AFFORDED US GREAT COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE MAKING OUR SHORT STAY IN INDIA MEMORABLE AND TREASURED. I THANK YOU CHAIRPERSON. MUMBAI, DECEMBER

6 APPENDIX 1: Area, Production and Yield Statistics of Lint in Zambia ( ) Year Area (ha) 81, , , , , ,803 Production of lint cotton (Mt) 29,778 59, ,963 42,719 40,970 47,082 Yield of lint (Mt/ha) Source: MAL/CBZ

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