Cotton Demonstration Plot at Natural Resource College
- Created: Thursday, 07 February 2019 13:51
- Published: Thursday, 07 February 2019 13:51
Cotton is one of the Major crop in Malawi, which ranks as the fourth foreign exchange earner in the country following tobacco, tea and sugarcane. The cotton platform under Malawi Agriculture Partnership (MAP) was formed with the aim of facilitating coordination among players in the cotton value chain in Malawi. The cotton platform acts as a catalyst for desired change through the implementation of innovative solutions which have a facilitating growth and development of cotton industry through collaborative efforts among the value chain players. The goal of the Cotton Platform is to contribute to the reduction of poverty of 60,000 smallholder farmers in the cotton subsector. Cotton demonstration were mounted in six ADDs; Lilongwe, Blantyre, Shire Valley, Machinga, Karonga and Salima. The cotton platform facilitate extension services among others through the cotton demonstrations.
During the 208/19 season, a total of 100 demonstration plots on new cotton hybrid varieties have been mounted across the country. In addition, 900 farmers are also trying out the new cotton varieties across the country. In Lilongwe ADD, there is a cotton demonstration field at NRC where four hybrid varieties namely; Mahyco C567, C569, C570 and C577 are being showcased. Apart from the hybrids being showcased, another technology being promoted is the conservation farming model. The cotton is being grown under conservation farming where minimum tillage was observed using rippers to achieve minimum soil disturbance. The cotton was planted at 100cm between ridges and 45cm between planting stations. The germination percentage was 97 percent. This shows that there is a good crop stand and land is clean, waiting for second weeding. It was observed during one of the field visits to the site that there is slow growth of the crop due to among others the cold climate that Lilongwe experiences as cotton is mainly grown in hot areas.