Govt clears arrears to cotton farmers
Harare (New Ziana) – Government has so far paid $620 million to cotton farmers as it moves to clear the $1,5 billion outstanding payment for cotton deliveries made in 2020, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Anxious Masuka said at least ZW$620 million had been paid to farmers so far.
“ZW$1.5 billion has been mobilised for payment of farmers for the outstanding amount from 2020. As of yesterday (Sunday), $620 million had been disbursed by the government.
“We are moving around interacting with farmers, verifying that indeed farmers have started receiving their outstanding payments from 2020,” he said.
Masuka said the government was working to duplicate the Pfumvudza maize programme to also support cotton farming.
“We are also interacting with farmers to begin to sensitize them of the successes that we have had with Pfumvudza maize and that we want to transition to Pfumvudza cotton so that they too can enjoy the successes that we have had with Pfumvudza maize,” he said.
Masuka apologised to farmers for the delay in payment for the 2020 cotton.
“As Government, we apologise that farmers are being paid a season late and we hope that with the macro-economic stability now taking place in the country, we will be able to pay,” he said.
Government has supported the revival of the cotton industry that has seen the cotton industry grow from 28 000 metric tonnes produced in 2015 to the expected 150 000 to 195 000 tonnes this year.
Most of the cotton crop in the country is grown by rural farmers who get access to input from government for free.