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In an effort to revitalise its flagging cotton industry, the Cotton Institute of Mozambique is seeking investors to revive large-scale production in the country’s central Zambezia province.
The aim is to transform Mozambique into one of the biggest cotton producers in the world, the delegate of the Cotton Institute of the northern province of Nampula, Helina Massengele, who oversees Zambezia province and the neighbouring northern province of Niassa, told state radio on Thursday.
Zambezia province, a former power house in cotton production is now relegated to second place by family farmers and developers.
Massengele said the institution she heads intends to launch international public tenders for the occupation of areas abandoned by companies.
“Cotton production is an important industry in Mozambique, contributing to around a fifth of agricultural exports, but the abandonment of cotton production by farmers in the sector and some farming companies is negatively influencing the production indices of this cash crop in the province of Zambézia, which has has been harvesting less than 5,000 tons per season hence we need high profile actors”, the official said.
This year Zambezia province plans to produce about 1,200 tonnes of cotton, representing a 68 percent reduction from the previous harvest, which produced about 3,800 tonnes.
According to Massengele, there is considerable scope to expand the country’s cotton industry and following decades of civil war, the country’s agricultural sector has recovered strongly over the last 20 years.
However, cotton production remains considerably lower than at its pre-independence peak of 144,000 tonnes in 1974.
In recent years, yields have fluctuated considerably, leaving many processing plants operating below capacity and unable to adequately plan for the future.Source: APA
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