Katete cotton farmers worried about their inability to repay loans due to anticipated poor harvest
By Staff Reporter
KATETE cotton farmers are worried about their inability to repay loans they contracted for the 2018/19 farming season due to poor yields.
In an interview gender-based violence committee chairperson Julius Banda of chief Mbang’ombbe appealed to cotton dealers to be mindful of the expected poor yields and to be empathatic as their demand for the repayments from the farmers.
Banda said reports reaching his office suggesting that some companies are demanding that farmers whose cotton yield must pay back the loans by selling other crops such as maize and Soya beans and this must not be tolerated because such a move will just perpetuate hunger in most households.
“Am reminding the cotton companies that the relationship between the farmers and them must not be spoilt by this year’s poor cotton harvest because they will need people to grow cotton in future as many more farming seasons are still coming,” said Banda
Meanwhile, headman Chiguwo of Kasamanda Ward in Mambwe district said that although areas like Kasimbo, Kasamanda and Wazaza have a bumper maize and soya beans harvest, cotton yield was expected to be very poor.
The village Headman said cotton farmers must negotiate favourable payment terms with the cotton companies.
“The best is to negotiate on the best repayment modalities that will ensure that the farmers do not end up with little food in their households. And am also advising farmers to exercise maximum financial discipline after receiving their money from the sales of crops,” he said.