Malawi joined 45 other member states of the International Cotton Advisory Committee-ICAC at this year’s 75th plenary meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan under the theme ‘Emerging Dynamics in Cotton: Enhancing Sustainability in Cotton Value Chain’.
Malawi participated at the session as an observer as it is still in the process of finalising its admission to ICAC, the world’s largest and inclusive cotton coordinating body.
Chairperson of the Cotton Council of Malawi, Patrick Khembo, leader of the Malawian delegation, which comprised African Institute for Corporate Citizenship, government and ginners described the meeting as instrumental in enhancing the vibrancy the cotton value chain in Malawi.
“The theme for this year, best captures the emerging challenges in the cotton sector and now that we have learnt from other countries on how they are dealing with these challenges, as a country we will be better placed to draw short term and long term plans to improve the cotton value chain,” explained Khembo.
The cotton sector faces a number of challenges including price volatility at the international markets, technological gaps between developed and developing countries, competition of synthetic fibers, among others.
The President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain who addressed the delegates at a reception dinner called on ICAC to effectively assess and present solutions to the cotton industry.
“I would like you to actively engage with policy making and implementing institutions to create a conducive environment for agriculture and its industry to flourish,” appealed Hussain to the ICAC.
In response Executive Director for ICAC, José Sette committed to continue engaging both members and non-members in fostering inter country learning.
One thing that came out clearly at the session was the role of government policy in enhancing the cotton value chain.
Principal Agricultural Officer Responsible for Cotton in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Anne Zidana said among other notable efforts, government has set aside MK100 million to support the cotton industry in the country through the cotton council of Malawi.mbc