World Cotton day at Cotton Development Trust
The World cotton day was hosted by the Cotton Development Trust (CDT) financed by ITC, and supported the Cotton Board of Zambia, Cotton Association of Zambia among others. The world cotton day in Magoye (CDT) with over 200 attendants included a number of farmers, local leaders, politicians, ginning companies, seed companies, fertilizer suppliers and farm equipment dealers, youth from the surrounding school that made the event colorful. This was the first celebration of cotton ever in Zambia which made all attendants appreciate the importance of cotton to humanity. It was generally agreed that the celebrations should continue in the future
The youth group with their poems of cotton was most appreciated by the audience. It was also delightful to note that cotton has contributed greatly to the economy of the household as they were able to testify that it was through growing cotton that they were able to pay fees and requisites for school and that some of the assets that they have was generated through growing of cotton.
The farmers’ spokesperson requested the Government to address the issue of seed cotton pricing and also the extension services to bring back the glory days of cotton. The new dawn Government assured cotton farmers that it is working around the clock to ensure the textile industry is revamped. Government said this was one only way to revamp the cotton industry and ensure farmers benefit from cotton through value addition.
Since its inception, World Cotton Day was always intended to be a celebration of the world’s most important natural fibre, so Zambia’s Cotton Development Trust gathered together farmers, trainers and other industry stakeholders for a day of speeches, dancing and entertainment.
ITC is partnering with the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) to develop tools and training procedures specific to Zambia’s climate and soil characteristics.
Under the project ‘Strengthening Productive Capabilities and Value Chain Alliances’, jointly funded by the European Union and the Organization of African, Caribbean and the Pacific States, the intervention helps farmers improve their planting techniques by using technological innovations.
Other components of the project target handloom development to diversify farm-level income as well as improving seed cotton marketing practices.