Zimbabwe will host the 14th Southern and Eastern African Cotton Forum (SEACF) following a proposal in 2014 that the Southern Africa country should be the hosting country this year.

The SEACF was established in 1996 and operates under the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) of which Zimbabwe is a member.

The symposium will be running from 4 to 6 July 2018 under the theme, ‘Global best practices for cotton yield enhancement in Africa”.

South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya are the countries currently participating in SEACF.

The objective of SEACF is to promote cotton production through collaborative research and technology transfer. At previous meetings of the SEACF, it was stated that cotton diseases and pests are major threats and that SEACF member states should tackle this problem jointly.

SEACF holds bi-annual research symposiums in different member countries. Previous symposiums were held in Lusaka (2010) and Maputo (2014).

“ At the last meeting in Mozambique in 2014, Zimbabwe was proposed as the 2016 hosting country. However, it was decided to postpone this symposium until 2018 to support participation in the World Cotton Research Conference-6 (WCRC-6) in Brazil in 2016.

“Zimbabwe has been requested to assist in organizing the 2018 bi-annual meeting of SEACF. A Local Organising Committee (LOC) coordinated by Department of Research and Specialist Services (DR&SS) has been formed to prepare for the hosting of the event including mobilisation of resources for local expenses,” said SEACF in a statement.

About 70 participants from Sudan, Ghana, Mozambique, Ethopia, Kenya, South Africa, India, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan and Zimbabwe will be expected to attend.

Papers covering cotton breeding, agronomy, crop protection and other aspects of the cotton value chain within the region will be presented.

The forum will be followed by a Cotton Biotechnology Training.