COTTON DEVELOPMENT TRUST

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1 COTTON DEVELOPMENT TRUST COUNTRY REPORT TO THE 65 TH ICAC PLENARY MEETING, 11 TH 15 TH SEPTEMBER, 2006 GOIANIA, BRAZIL, ZAMBIA 1. Introduction The Zambian economy has historically been dependent on copper mining. The gradual decline in world copper prices during the eighties and nineties led to economic decline. Agriculture has therefore become a major driver of growth and a significant source of export earnings and diversification. Agriculture and agro-processing account for more than 40% of Zambia s GDP and contribute about 12% of export earnings. The sector provides employment to some 67% of the labour force and supplies raw materials to agro-related industries, which account for some 84% of manufacturing valueadded in the country. Zambia has 42 million hectares of arable land (about 55% of total land area), of which only 1.5 million hectares (about 4%) is cultivated every year. The country s 800,000 smallholders account for some four-fifths of this area. The Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) recognizes the importance of smallholder agriculture and is committed to supporting their development. Following the economic reforms of the early 1990s, the Government reduced its role and budget for agriculture. With reduced Government role, the private sector has been spearheading the impressive growth in agricultural exports. During the period of 1990 to 2000, agricultural GDP grew at an average rate of 3.9% per annum, faster than the population growth of 2.9%, indicating a positive growth per capita. Over the last one and half decades, production systems have emerged in Zambia that are based on partnerships between smallholders and private agro-entrepreneurs. Currently, almost a third of the 800,000 smallholder farmers in Zambia are organized in some form of outgrower scheme arrangements. 2. Cotton Production The Zambian cotton sector has during the last ten years recorded consistent growth in cotton production. Following liberalisation of the sector in the year 1994 seed cotton production has risen 1

2 from 42,000 metric tonnes (mt) in 1994/95 season to 227,000 mt in 2003/04. Though a small improvement in farm yields has been recorded over the last decade, the growth in national cotton production is primarily as a result of more farmers participating in cotton production. The number of cotton farmers has increased from about 50,000 in 1994/95 season to 250,000 in 2003/04 season as in Table 1. below: Table 1: 11-year evolution in cotton production in Zambia Hectares 98, , , , , , , , , ,000 Cultivated Production 49,000 84, ,000 88,000 75,000 80, , , , ,000 of Seed Cotton (metric tonnes) Number of Farmers 50,000 85,000 86,000 95, , , , , ,000 Cotton in Zambia is produced by smallholder family household with an average number of eight people per household. Cotton farmers also produce the bulk of the commercial Zambian maize (87%), which is the staple food. Despite the low seed cotton yields the cotton farmers are nevertheless more innovative than non-cotton farmers and generally more efficient in producing all crops. It is estimated that about 1,400,000 people out of a total Zambian population of 10,500,000 (13%) are directly dependent on the cotton industry for part of or their entire livelihood. In 2003/04 cotton and its products generated over US$50 Million in export earnings. 3. Challenges in Cotton Production The biggest concern in the smallholder cotton sector is the low seed cotton yields at farm level (400 to 800 kg/ha for 90% of the farmers) in comparison with the commercial farmers who achieve kg/ha. Low seed cotton yields hamper income growth in the smallholder cotton sector and reduce its competitiveness. The important factors constraining yields are prolonged dry spells, degraded farming lands and poor soil fertility, poor quality planting seed, inadequate labour and animal draft power, poor production practices and inadequate access to improved production technologies for the 2

3 large number of cotton farmers who are attracted to the sector by the farmer- friendly marketing arrangements. The HIV/AIDS pandemic in Zambia poses the second biggest challenge facing the growth of the cotton sub-sector. HIV/AIDS has seriously affected the cotton growing communities by eating away the productive - human capital. The impact of (HIV/AIDS) on the agricultural sector in Zambia is at the household, community and national levels. The poor state of rural infrastructure, particularly roads and other means of communication, has greatly hamperred the development of cotton production; as production inputs cannot be delivered on time and to all places and the collection of produce cannot be efficiently conducted. This is exacerbated by the high costs of transportation which increases the costs of cotton production making Zambian cotton less competetive. 4. The Cotton Development Trust (CDT) The Cotton Development Trust was formed in 1999 as an initiative of the Government of the Republic Zambia under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MACO) and the private sector driven cotton industry. It is governed by an independent board of trustees. The Trust aims at contributing towards agricultural development in Zambia through strengthening the cotton industry by playing an important role in research and development, extension services, farmer training; and seed technology and production. Cotton Development Trust targets the 200, ,000 smallholder farmers in Regions II and I who produce cotton in the high potential areas of Southern, Eastern, Central, Lusaka Provinces and parts of Copperbelt and Western Provinces both directly and through the structures of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MACO) but mainly though the structures and networks of cotton promoting companies who are mainly ginners. The Trust s aim is to provide an effective the technological base for increased and competitive seed cotton production in Zambia. The core mandate of the CDT is production technology development and transfer. 3

4 5. Marketing of Seed Cotton All the seed cotton produced in Zambia is ginned in Zambia. Since the liberalisation of the sector in 1996, the marketing of seed cotton in Zambia has been dominated by a few private companies. There are now seven ginning companies operating in Zambia. These are: Dunavant Zambia Limited Clark Cotton Zambia Limited (Now Cargill (Z) Limited) Mulungushi Cotton and Cooking Oil Company Continental Ginnery Limited Alliance Cotton (Z) Limited (2005/2006 Season) Chipata Cotton Ginnery (2004/2005 season) Great Lakes (2005/2006 Season) Dunavant (Z) Limited and Clark Cotton (Z) Limited (now Cargill (Z) Ltd) buy close to 90% of seed cotton from the farmers. Among the reasons for the growth in overall Zambian cotton production is that the cotton ginning companies provide inputs and collect the crop through their outgrower programmes, i.e. providing production inputs and some extension services to cotton farmers. Although other crops have better cost benefits than cotton, most farmers will opt to grow cotton because of the pre-financing on inputs and the favourable marketing arrangements put in place by the cotton promoting and ginning companies. All companies offer planting seed as part of the credit package to farmers. 6. Cotton Ginning The largest cotton ginners in Zambia are Dunavant (Z) Ltd and Clark Cotton (now Cargill (Z) Ltd) followed by Mulungushi Cotton and Cooking Oil Company and Continental Ginneries Ltd. Table 2. below describes the location, capacity and seed cotton ginned by Zambian ginneries for and seasons: 4

5 Table 2: Capacity of Ginneries in Zambia Company Gin Location Province Capacity MT/Season Cotton Throughput Dunavant Katete Eastern 22,000 13,382 20,992 Lusaka Lusaka 10,000-3,579 Mumbwa Central 25,000 15,214 24,956 Gwembe Southern 19,000 10,538 17,620 Petauke Eastern 17,000 N/A N/A Cotton Throughput Sub-Total 93,000 39,644 67,147 Clark (Z) Ltd Two (2) Gins in Eastern 55,000 X X (Cargill (Z) Ltd Chipata Continental Kalomo Southern 8,000 6,200 X Mulungushi Kabwe Central 10,000 1,684 X Amaka* Kabwe Central 22, X Mukuba Ndola Copperbelt 1,000 X X TOTAL 189,000 ** Note: The Amaka closed in The Zambian ginning capacity has grown to 256,000 Mt during the 2004/2005 growing season, when Zambian cotton production reached 180,000 Mt. This would indicate that excess ginning capacity in Zambia for the 2004/2005 season stood at 76,000 Mt. The excess ginning capacity has, unfortunately,resulted into the negative practice of side buying of seed cotton from cotton farmers among the cotton ginning companies as the seed cotton produced is not enough to feed all the ginneries. Based on a ginning out-turn ratio of 40%, the 180,000 Mt of 2004/2005 seed cotton ginned yielded 72,000 Mt of cotton lint. However, the 2004/2005 Zambian cotton lint consumption by domestic spinners totalled only 14,500 Mt. Zambian ginners exported the remaining 57,500 Mt. The Zambian spinners import cotton lint from Zimbabwe. This is because Zambian cotton varieties are medium sized staple. For spinners to achieve the proper yarn, longer staple size lint (presently imported from Zimbabwe), must be blended with the medium staple Zambian lint. Consequently, to spin export-quality yarn, Zambian spinners must import long staple lint, while Zambian ginners export approximately 80% of their medium staple lint. The Cotton Development Trust is however developing long staple cotton varieties to meet Zambia s needs for long staple cotton lint. 7. Spinning 5

6 Several spinners operated in Zambia until The largest and most dominant is Swarp Spinning. Table 3. below lists the Zambian Spinning Mills in 2002 and their estimated annual lint demand: Table 3: Capacity of Local Textile Mills in Zambia Before 2004 Textile Mill City/Province Throughout (Mt) Swarp Ndola, Copperbelt 14,000 Mukuba Ndola, Copperbelt 1,900 Starflex Ndola, Copperbelt 1,200 Excel Ndola, Copperbelt 1,650 Mulungushi Kabwe, Central 3,000 Others Mostly Copperbelt 1,000 TOTAL 25,750 A brief synopsis of Zambian cotton yarn supply and domestic and export demand appears in Table 4. below: Table 4: Yarn Production in Zambia Year Cotton Yarn Domestic Demand Yarn Exports Total Value Production US$ 2001/ ,106 1,500 9,606 20,906, / , ,179 31,364, / ,900 1,008 11,892 25,979, / ,659 2, ,617, / ,500 9,250 14,250 40,172,000 Mulungushi Cotton and Cooking Oil Company Ltd and Mukuba Textiles operate as both ginners and spinners. All other spinners purchase their lint from Dunavant (Z) Ltd and Continental Ginneries Ltd. 8. Weavers (Woven Fabrics of Cotton); Apparel/Garment The weaving and knitting sector has been hit hard by world trade liberalization (elimination of quotas on textiles). Vast imports (legal and illegal) of fabrics, garments and second-hand clothing drastically reduced demand for cotton based fabrics. Most of the weavers and apparel/garment machinery (95%) of existing weaving companies are more than fifteen and twenty years old, some were even secondhand when originally installed. Many of the companies in this sector experience competitiveness problems due to low utilization rates, high consumption of spare parts (old machinery), inadequate cash 6

7 flows, debts and an inability to add value. Their obsolete machinery makes them fail to reach the export standards of quality requirement. Over half of the weaving and knitting companies have closed down due to this unfavourable unprotected market. The Apparel and Garment industry in the 1980s had over 140 manufacturers employing over 15,000 people. Today there are only about ten (ten) companies as all have closed down. Prior to economic liberalization in 1991, garment manufacturers enjoyed protective barriers. Today second-hand clothing has taken over approximately 60-65% of the total market. Regionally and internationally sourced garments account for 25% of the market, leaving only 10-15% of the local garment manufacturers. There is lack of modern technology (old sewing machine used) to produce export quality garment. Textiles and clothing industries in Zambia face unfair competition, on the regional and international markets, from other cotton producing countries where production is subsidized (e.g. USA, China, the EU, Central and South East Asia). Lack of competitiveness compared to all other major textiles exporting countries which provide substantial direct cash payments for exporters (e.g. South Africa), who enjoy lower production costs, economies of scale and greater installed capacity utilization has led to low production and closure of most textile and clothing industries in Zambia. The government of Zambia is examining various ways to improve the apparel garments sub-sector among which are the following: Making available to the sector short-term loans, trade finance and technical assistance facilities at favourable and attractive terms and conditions to encourage weaving and garment production. Investment in new machinery that will improve the quality of the materials and the garments and production costs. Regulate the importation of second-hand clothing. Importation of second-hand clothes has taken over 60% of the domestic cloth requirement hence suppressing the textile industry. 7

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