Great Lakes operates two ginneries in Malawi (in Ngabu & Balaka) with a combined capacity of around 30,000MT of seed cotton. The company operates over 130 seed-cotton buying markets in the cotton areas of Balaka, Salima and the Shire Valley, manned by local GLCC staff who are in constant liaison with the cotton farmers and their communities. During the season the company employs over 2,000 people in field and ginning operations.
Great Lakes Malawi’s out-grower scheme supports over 60,000 farmers covering 50,000 hectares of cotton land. The company provides these farmers with training, extension services and credit for inputs (such as seed and chemicals) which is recovered when the farmer sells his crop. During the 2010/11 season, 2.3 billion Malawi Kwacha was spent on crop procurement.
Great Lakes works extremely closely with development partners DEG & GIZ within the framework of COMPACI - the Competitive African Cotton Initiative. This program is designed to increase the economic productivity of small-holder African cotton farmers through improvements in areas such as farming techniques, input availability and extensions services. In addition GLCC Malawi is a verified producer and active participant in Cotton Made in Africa. The CMiA Initiative provides participating smallholder farmers with cultivation methods that conserve the environment and raise crop yields, while providing training and education for adults and children. GLCC is convinced that initiatives like CMIA & BCI offer the optimal framework for delivering audited and sustainable social, economic and environmental development in its areas of operation.
GLCC is active in local health and education development with initiatives including Malaria & HIV information programmes, and educational scholarships designed to take local students through higher education and on to US or UK university places.
Combined capacity of ginneries (MT)
No of seed-cotton buying markets operated
No supported by cut-grower scheme
Amount spent on crop procurement (Kwacha)