Cotton deliveries top 108 000 tonnes
Harare (New Ziana) – At least 108 000 tonnes of cotton have so far been delivered to the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) this year, as the country inches closer to achieving a production target of 150 000 tonnes, an official said on Wednesday.
Production of the bulk of the cotton being marketed was funded by Government, under the presidential input scheme.
The scheme was introduced during the 2015/16 cropping season with the aim of reviving cotton production through providing free inputs and paying a viable producer price.
The intervention pushed production of cotton by 400 percent from 74 000 tonnes in the 2016/17 season to 140 000 tonnes in the 2017/18 season.
Addressing a media interactive session, Cottco managing director Pious Manamike said the company expects at least 150 000 tonnes of cotton grown under the presidential input scheme at the end of the marketing season.
“As of today (Wednesday) 108 000 tonnes of cotton has been sold by farmers to Cottco and we expect between 125 000 and 150 000 tonnes during this marketing season.
“In terms of earnings, we expect USD$70 million,” he said.
He added: “We have witnessed production growth of 400 percent since inception of the presidential input scheme.”
During the 2020/21 cropping season, about 400 000 growers were given free inputs to grow cotton under the presidential input scheme.
Cottco this year also hopes to tap into the Pfumvudza programme and increase the number of growers to 520 000.
“We hope this will see yields go up drastically,” said Manamike.
He said Cottco had deployed teams across the country to educate farmers on how to replicate Pfumvudza to cotton farming.
This year, Zimbabwe expects a surplus of grain owing to good rains and the introduction of a conservation agriculture programme, popularly known as Pfumvudza.
Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister Anxious Masuka has indicated the successful Pfumvudza programme would be extended to cotton during the 2021/12 summer cropping season.