dr joseph made 31-01-11.jpgGovernment has condemned side marketing of cotton and called on the crop’s buyers to give full support to farmers throughout the farming season.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minster, Dr Joseph Made who was speaking at the National Cotton Grower of The Year awards in the capital, said the fights that characterised the 2010-2011 cotton marketing season have to be addressed urgently as they affect productivity.

The season also saw some buyers, who are not involved in funding the production of the crop, offering better prices compared to those who provided inputs thereby promoting side-marketing of cotton.

Dr Made said cotton merchants should offer fair prices whilst farmers should also respect their contractual obligations.

“My message is to the two parties, the framers and the buyers need to be honest and work together, buyers should support fully our farmers not reap where they did not sow,” he said.

With the cotton season having ended, some farmers still have their crop which they were holding saying the 40 cents per kilogramme price was not viable, while buyers maintained that their offer was justified as it was determined by the international prices.

Mr. Rabson Homwe emerged the national COTTCO Grower of The Year and walked away with various prizes including farming implements.