An assessment of varietal improvement and extension services in cotton production in Magoye District, Zambia
Mulenga, K. Fredrick
MetadataShow full item record
Before liberalization, the cotton industry was run by the state owned Lint Company of Zambia (LINTCO) from 1977-1994. After liberalization in the late 1994, production of cotton rose from 20,000mt to over 100,000mt in the 1998 season. The study was conducted to assess the impact of varietals development and extension services in cotton production. The specific objectives were to determine whether farmers are influenced by cotton seed companies in terms of what varieties to use, to determine the level of farmer knowledge about new varieties and to assess what extension services farmers receive about cotton production. The study was conducted in Magoye District in Southern province.The study found out that most farmers are members of out grower schemes and as members they receive loans in form of inputs and extension services. These fanners are not allowed to grow any other variety than as given in the package. The study also revealed that farmers are aware of other varieties on the market some being CDT1 and CDT 2. It also showed that farmers receive extension services mostly form the cotton seed company (i.e. Dunavant) in the form seminars and field demonstrations. Some of the benefits received by the farmers include increased farmer income and good farm practices.The study finally recommended that it is important to increase the number of educated farmers in the area by providing for example adult literacy classes. This would speed up the rate at which extension information is provided and applied. In order to improve on variety awareness government should fund research and development so that a number of varieties can be introduced on the market. By introducing a levy along the marketing chain can help in pooling resources needed for research and development. The types of extension methods used should be increased to include additional types of methods such as mobile training units and popular theatre. Probably the introduction of GMO seed such as Bt cotton can help increase yields and quality, reduce costs, increase profits and improve the environment.
- Agricultural Sciences