Speaking in an interview with The Guardian recently, Simiyu Regional Commissioner Anthony Mtaka said the plan is in line with adding value to cotton to boost the crop's development in the region and the nation at large.
Mtaka mentioned some of the products to be produced include bandage, baby diapers and women pads to mention just a few noting that there are more than 20 health-related materials that can be obtained from cotton.
“If we start having industries that can meet the requirements of home raw materials like cotton it is obvious that their prices will necessarily not need to be fixed by the international market,” he said.
He added that with adequate industries in the country, the country will be able to fix prices for commercial crops depending on the needs pointing out that for the case of cotton value can be added to it by obtaining oil from the seeds then use seed cakes for animal feeds.
“With all that analysis it reaches a point where the actual price of cotton can be determined and help farmers to know at least roughly the amount of money they are going to fetch in one hectare,” he said.
According to the RC, historically cotton has enabled people to get money for their children’s education as well as meeting other costs therefore it is a good thing to enhance the crop popularly known as ‘white gold’.
He stated that in a bid to increase productivity of cotton in that region, they have contacted Ukirigulu Agricultural Research Institute that is based in Mwanza Region to educate farmers in 470 villages in Simiyu Region on the negative impacts of mixing cotton and other crops in one farm.
In the past, farmers found mixing cotton and maize in one farm had the food crop uprooted without being given knowledge regarding the negative impacts on the practice.
That situation was likely to discourage people to engage in the cultivation of cotton so far and resort to growing maize and other crops and therefore underdeveloped cotton.