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Majaliwa bans ‘white gold’ contract farming

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has banned cotton contract farming in the country, pledging close government supervision that would see farmers benefiting from the cash crop, popularly known as white gold.

“We don’t want to hear contract farming. The effect of contract farming is that a farmer does not have a say. We are looking for the best ways that would give farmers the ability to decide for themselves,” the PM declared shortly after inspecting a demonstration cotton farm at Kiswaga Village in Bunda District yesterday morning.

Bunda is one of the famous cotton growing areas in Mara Region where cotton contract farming had been practised in the recent years. Mr Majaliwa said formation of Primary Cooperative Societies would be the best option that can help to transform lives of farmers in cotton growing regions. In so doing, he said cotton growers would even be able to access loans from farmers’ bank.

“The government formed the farmer’s bank and the advantage of cooperatives is that it is easy to be given loans. Use the bank to get capital,” the Premier urged farmers. Mr Majaliwa said individuals are also strictly prohibited from moving around buying cotton directly from farms. Instead, he underscored the importance of selling the cash crop at auctions in a bid to give farmers more room to earn good income from what they cultivate.

He once again ordered government agriculture experts to shift to rural areas and help farmers improve production instead of staying in towns where the council headquarters are located.

“Experts should come and help farmers to practise best cotton farming and if they don’t come they will face the fire,” Mr Majaliwa warned. He ordered the Mara Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Adam Malima to oversee cotton farming in his region.

The PM said he will also meet with cotton buyers and regional commissioners (RCs) from cotton growing regions to put in place strategies that would, among other things, ensure that there is sufficient good market for the crop during the next season.

Mr Majaliwa later yesterday proceeded with his working tour in Butiama District.

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