1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation


   3.   Establishment of the Cotton Council of Malawi

   4.   Composition of the Council

   5.   Vacation of members from office

   6.   Meetings of the Council

   7.   Disclosure of interest

   8.   Invited persons

   9.   Committees of the Council

   10.   Allowances and expenses of members

   11.   Functions of the Council

   12.   Powers of the Council

   13.   Policy directions to the Council

   14.   Research and Training Institute


   15.   Establishment and composition of the Secretariat

   16.   Appointment of Executive Director and staff

   17.   Duties of the Executive Director

   18.   Cotton Inspectors

   19.   Duties of Cotton Inspectors


   20.   Varieties of cotton

   21.   Restriction on cotton seed importation, breeding and multiplication

   22.   Certified seeds grown

   23.   Reservation of cotton seeds

   24.   Distribution and planting of cotton seed

   25.   Power to prohibit movement of cotton seed

   26.   Declaration of quarantine area

   27.   Prevention of diseases

   28.   Destruction of infested cotton material

   29.   Authorized pesticides

   30.   Destruction of cotton plants

   31.   Exemption


   32.   Registration to engage in marketing and processing of cotton

   33.   General offences and penalties

   34.   Replacement of a lost or destroyed registration


   35.   Cotton marketing season

   36.   Grower to grade seed cotton

   37.   Determination of the grades of cotton

   38.   Prohibition against mixing different grades of seed cotton

   39.   Prohibition against inclusion of foreign materials and nesting

   40.   Restriction on cotton buying

   41.   Cotton buying licence

   42.   Production of licence by a buyer

   43.   Non-assignability of cotton licence

   44.   Cotton warehousing

   45.   Cotton buying posts

   46.   Purchase of seed cotton

   47.   Prices to be linked to world market

   48.   Conditions to be observed by cotton buyers

   49.   Inspection of premises and records

   50.   Records of transactions


   51.   Registration of a ginnery

   52.   Ginning licence

   53.   Conditions for ginning licence

   54.   Movement of seed cotton

   55.   Register of ginneries

   56.   Ginning licence not assignable

   57.   Duties of holder of ginning licence

   58.   Form of licences

   59.   Cancellation or suspension of a licence and appeal


   60.   Sale or export of cotton lint and cotton seeds

   61.   Restriction on purchase and export of cotton


   62.   Funds of the Council

   63.   Application of funds of the Council

   64.   Investment of funds and borrowing powers

   65.   Powers to impose levy

   66.   Payment of levy

   67.   Establishment of the Cotton Development Fund

   68.   Audit of accounts

   69.   Report and accounts to be submitted to Minister

   70.   Financial year of the Council

   71.   Council to operate on sound financial principles


   72.   Immunity of members and employees of the Council

   73.   Government institutions and private companies and others, to cooperate with the Council

   74.   Fees

   75.   Regulations

   76.   Council to make rules

   77.   Administrative penalties

   78.   Offences by bodies corporate relating to state of mind

   79.   Offences by bodies corporate relating to liability of directors

   80.   Penalties for offences by bodies corporate

   81.   Penalties for continuing or subsequent offences

   82.   General penalty

   83.   Penalties for contravening regulations

   84.   Repeal and savings


1 of 2013
G.N. 7/2014

An Act to provide for the establishment of the Cotton Council; to provide for the regulation, improvement and development of the cotton industry and to provide for matters related thereto



1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Cotton Act.

2.   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act, unless the context requires otherwise—

   "administrative penalty" means a penalty that may be imposed by the Council pursuant to section 77;

   "agro-inputs" include certified seeds, fertilizers, agro-chemicals and equipment necessary for the application of such agro-chemicals;

   "buyer" means any person who pays a grower money in exchange of ownership of seed cotton;

   "buying licence" means a buying licence issued under section 41;

   "contract farming" means a binding arrangement, whether written or oral between a grower and a buyer to produce and sell seed cotton under pre-agreed conditions;

   "cotton buyer" means a person licensed as such under this Act;

   "Cotton Development Fund" means the fund established pursuant to section 64;

   "cotton lint" means the fibrous component of ginned cotton;

   "cotton plant" means the growing plants, cuttings, buds and grafts, seeds, leaves, bolls or any portion of the cotton plant in a natural state;

   "cotton seed" means seed produced from seed cotton whether fuzzy or de-linted;

   "cotton seed dressing" means chemical approved by the Ministry against pre-plant and post-emergent plant pest and diseases;

   "cotton quarantine area" means an area declared to be as such under this Act;

   "Council" means the Cotton Council of Malawi established under section 3;

   "extension officer" means an extension officer appointed in accordance with the provisions of this Act;

   "foreign material" means any physical material that is aggregated with seed cotton, cotton seed or lint that is not related to cotton, and includes sand, stones, metallic objects, feathers, plastics, polypropylene and water;

   "ginnery" means any premises wherein seed cotton is separated into cotton lint and cotton seed;

   "ginning licence" means a ginning licence issued under section 52 that grants a person the right to gin seed cotton;

   "grower" means any person who grows cotton;

   "inspector" means a cotton inspector appointed in accordance with the provisions of section 18;

   "licensed ginner" means a holder of a valid ginning licence;

   "member" means a member of the Council and includes the Chairperson of the Council;

   "nesting" means the process of concealing materials of a non-cotton nature in a consignment of cotton intended for sale;

   "seed cotton" means the component of cotton harvested from the cotton plant, graded or ungraded comprising lint still affixed to seed;

   "society" means a cooperative society registered under the Cooperative Societies Act; and

   "trader" means any person who buys seed cotton for the purpose of resale.


3.   Establishment of the Cotton Council of Malawi

   There is established a council to be known as the Cotton Council of Malawi which shall—

   (a)   have perpetual succession and a common seal;

   (b)   in its corporate name, be capable of suing and being sued;

   (c)   be capable of purchasing or acquiring and managing in any manner and alienating any property;

   (d)   be capable of entering into any contract or agreement; and

   (e)   be capable of doing all such other things or acts for the proper performance of its functions under the provisions of this Act which may lawfully be done or performed by a body corporate.

4.   Composition of the Council

   (1) The Council shall consist of the following members appointed by the Minister—

   (a)   a representative of an association of owners of estates that produce cotton;

   (b)   two representatives of cotton growing smallholder farmers associations;

   (c)   a representative of cotton seed producer association;

   (d)   a representative of cotton buyers and ginners association;

   (e)   a representative of cotton processors association;

   (f)   a representative of pesticide suppliers association;

   (g)   the following ex officio"> members—

      (i)   the Secretary responsible for Agriculture or his designated representative;

      (ii)   the Secretary responsible for Industry and Trade or his designated representative;

      (iii)   the Secretary for Justice or his designated representative; and

      (iv)   the Secretary to the Treasury or his designated representative.

   (2) The Minister shall appoint the Chairperson of the Council from among members of the Council and the members of the Council shall elect a Vice-Chairperson from among their number.

   (3) A member, ex officio"> or any person employed in the public service shall not be eligible to be appointed Chairperson or elected Vice-Chairperson of the Council.

   (4) Every member shall attend meetings of the Council in person or through a designated representative and, where a member is unable to attend any meeting of the Council, he may request that his apologies for failure to attend be registered.

   (5) A member shall not, by virtue only of his appointment to the Council, be deemed to be an officer in the public service.

   (6) A member, other than an ex officio, shall hold office for a period of three years from the date of his appointment and may be eligible for re-appointment for another three year term.

   (7) The Minister shall publish in the Gazette the names of all members as first constituted, and every change in the membership thereafter.

5.   Vacation of members from office

   (1) The office of a member, other than a member, ex officio">, shall become vacant—

   (a)   upon the expiry of the period of his appointment;

   (b)   upon his death;

   (c)   if he is adjudged bankrupt;

   (d)   if he is convicted of an offence—

      (i)   under section 7; or

      (ii)   under any other written law, and sentenced to a term of imprisonment without the option of a fine;

   (e)   if he is convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty;

   (f)   if he is absent, without any reasonable justification, from three consecutive meetings of the Council of which he has had notice;

   (g)   upon his giving the Minister one month written notice of his intention to resign his office;

   (h)   when he becomes, by reason of mental or physical infirmity, incapable of performing his duties as a member;

   (i)   when any circumstance arises that, if he were not a member, would cause that member to be disqualified for appointment as a member;

   (j)   when, on the recommendation of the majority of members, the Minister so directs; or

   (k)   when the member assumes a public office.

   (2) Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of a member, the Minister shall, in consultation with the nominating association, appoint another person to fill the vacancy and the person so appointed shall hold office for the remaining term of his predecessor:

   Provided that, when the remaining period is less than six months, the Minister may decide not to have the vacancy filled until the expiry of the period.

   (3) Subject to section 6 (6), the Council may act notwithstanding any vacancy in the membership of the Council.

6.   Meetings of the Council

   (1) The Council shall meet at such place, and such time, as the Chairperson may determine, and shall meet at least once in every three months.

   (2) Six members of the Council shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the Council.

   (3) An ordinary meeting of the Council shall be convened after giving the members at least fourteen days written notice with an agenda attached to the notice.

   (4) The Chairperson may, at his discretion, and shall at the written request of four or more members of the Council and within seven days of such request, cause an extraordinary meeting of the Council to be summoned at such place and time as he may appoint.

   (5) The Chairperson, or in his absence, the Vice-Chairperson shall preside at meetings of the Council.

   (6) In the absence of both the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, the members present and forming a quorum shall elect one of their numbers to preside over a meeting of the Council, and the member so elected shall exercise all the powers and perform all the duties of the Chairperson.

   (7) Subject to this Act, the Council may make rules for the regulation of its proceedings and business, or the proceedings and business of any of its committees, and may vary, suspend or revoke any such rules.

   (8) Minutes of each meeting of the Council or a committee of the Council shall be kept by the Executive Director of the Council, who shall act as the Secretary at the meeting.

   (9) Minutes of each meeting of the Council or a committee of the Council shall be confirmed at the next meeting.

   (10) The decision of the Council at any meeting on any matter shall be that of the majority of the members present and voting, and at all meetings the person presiding shall, in the event of an equality of votes, have a casting vote in addition to his deliberative vote.

7.   Disclosure of interest

   (1) If a member has any pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, in any matter and is present at a meeting of the Council at which the matter is the subject of consideration by the Council, he shall, as soon as practicable after the commencement of the meeting, disclose the fact to the Council and shall not take part in the consideration or discussion of, or vote on any question with respect to the matter.

   (2) Any member who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine of K100,000 and to imprisonment for twelve months.

8.   Invited persons

   (1) The Council may, at its discretion, invite any person to attend any meeting of the Council for the purpose of assisting or advising the Council on any matter under consideration by the Council.

   (2) Any person invited pursuant to subsection (1) may take part in the deliberations of the Council at any meeting he attends, but shall not be entitled to vote on any matter at any meeting of the Council.

9.   Committees of the Council

   (1) For the better carrying into effect of the purposes for which the Council is established, the Council may establish such committees, as the Council may deem appropriate, to perform such functions and responsibilities as the Council shall determine.

   (2) The Council shall appoint the chairperson of each committee from among the members.

   (3) The Council may include any person with relevant expertise in cotton industry as a committee member but the person shall not become a member of the Council by virtue of this appointment.

   (4) The provisions of section 6 relating to the meetings of the Council shall apply mutatis mutandis, to the meetings of any committee.

10.   Allowances and expenses of members

   (1) Members of the committees of the Council shall be paid such allowances as may be determined by the Council and approved by the Minister from time to time.

   (2) The Council may make provision for the reimbursement of any reasonable expenses incurred by a member or a member of a committee of the Council or a person invited under section 8, connected with the business of the Council or the committee.

11.   Functions of the Council

   (1) The Council shall exercise its powers and perform its functions in such a manner that it best promotes and fosters the development of the cotton industry in Malawi.

   (2) The functions of the Council shall include carrying out such activities and doing such things as are necessary, advantageous, proper or for the benefit of cotton growers and the cotton industry.

   (3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), the functions of the Council shall include to—

   (a)   advise the Government on matters of policy, strategies and other matters regarding the cotton industry;

   (b)   monitor the following groups of persons, in liaison with the Minister, through registration, on terms and conditions prescribed by the Council—

      (i)   growers;

      (ii)   buyers;

      (iii)   ginners;

      (iv)   processors; and

      (v)   all other persons dealing with cotton;

   (c)   advise the Government on production, marketing, quality and standards of cotton;

   (d)   facilitate domestic as well as international cotton market research;

   (e)   advise Government on development and application of new technologies in the cotton industry;

   (f)   ensure that national environmental protection standards are applied in production of cotton and cotton products;

   (g)   promote the formation of associations of stakeholders and monitor and advise on their activities;

   (h)   collect, maintain and disseminate statistical information on production and processing of cotton;

   (i)   protect the interests of farmers against syndicate of buyers;

   (j)   oversee the implementation of the Council policies; and

   (k)   carry out any other function advantageous to the cotton industry in Malawi and to meet the objectives of the Act.

   (4) The Council may delegate the exercise of its powers to its members or its Secretariat at any time when the Council is not meeting.

   (5) The exercise of powers under subsection (4) shall, unless and so far as the Council may otherwise require, be reported without unreasonable delay to a meeting of the Council.

   (6) The Council, if satisfied, may indorse the decision made under the delegated powers by its members or Secretariat.

12.   Powers of the Council

   (1) The Council shall have power to—

   (a)   grant permits or licences to operators, ginners buyers and exporters of seed cotton, cotton seed, cotton lint;

   (b)   issue export permits for seed cotton, cotton seed, cotton lint and other cotton by-products;

   (c)   ensure the compliance of established quality standards for cotton seed, seed cotton and cotton lint by persons licensed under this Act;

   (d)   provide for a forum for discussions and negotiations among various stakeholders in the cotton industry;

   (e)   determine the quantity of cotton seed required for the purpose of planting having regard to geographical location;

   (f)   hear and settle disputes amicably among the stakeholders in the cotton industry; and

   (g)   do anything or enter into any transaction which, in the opinion of the Council, aims to facilitate the proper and efficient carrying out of its activities and the proper exercise of its functions under the provisions of this Act.

   (2) The Minister may, if he considers it expedient, direct the Council to perform any commercial function for a specified period.

   (3) The Council shall have power, for the purpose of carrying out its functions, to do all such acts and things as appear to be requisite, advantageous or convenient for or in connection with the carrying out of its functions incidental or conducive to their proper discharge, and may carry out any activity in that behalf either alone or in association with the Government, a local authority or any other person or body of persons.

13.   Policy directions to the Council

   The Minister may give to the Council policy directions of a general or specific nature regarding the carrying out of its functions and the exercise of its powers in relation to matters appearing to the Minister to affect the national interest and the Council shall give effect to every such policy direction.

14.   Research and Training Institute

   The Council shall support institutions engaged in research or training for cotton industry for the following objectives—

   (a)   to generate foundation seed and manage a seed multiplication programme;

   (b)   to ensure that new varieties of cotton comply with local and international standards;

   (c)   to facilitate research in cotton;

   (d)   to facilitate the development of new varieties of cotton;

   (e)   to regulate the extension services in cotton production; and

   (f)   promote capacity building in cotton production.


15.   Establishment and composition of the Secretariat

   (1) There is hereby established a Secretariat of the Council for the purposes of performing duties assigned to it and day to day administration and implementation of the Act.

   (2) The Secretariat of the Council shall consist of an Executive Director, any other office the Council may deem necessary and such other suitably qualified officers as may be required for the proper administration of this Act.

16.   Appointment of Executive Director and other staff

   The Council shall appoint an Executive Director and such other officers as the Council may consider necessary to assist the Council in the execution of its duties, on such terms and conditions of service as the Council may determine.

17.   Duties of the Executive Director

   (1) The Executive Director shall perform such duties as the Council shall assign to his or her office and ensure the effective administration and implementation of this Act.

   (2) Without derogation from the generality of the duties of the Executive Director conferred under subsection (1), the director shall be responsible for the day to day administration of the Council.

18.   Cotton Inspectors

   (1) The Council shall establish an office of Cotton Inspectors.

   (2) The Executive Director, with approval by the Council, shall appoint Cotton Inspectors.

19.   Duties of Cotton Inspectors

   (1) The duties of Cotton Inspectors shall include supervising the purchase of seed cotton, ginning and export of cotton lint, cotton seed and other cotton products.

   (2) In discharging the duties conferred on the Cotton Inspectors under subsection (1), the inspectors shall, among others, have power to—

   (a)   inspect seed cotton, cotton seed, cotton ginneries and cotton warehouses;

   (b)   to ensure that farmers are applying and using the authorized pesticides specified in the First Schedule hereto;

   (c)   take samples and verify the quality of seed cotton, cotton seed and cotton lint as provided for in this Act or as may be prescribed; and

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