Cottco debt to farmers almost cleared

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Harare (New Ziana) – The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) expects to clear outstanding payments to farmers at the end of this month, an official said on Monday.

Cottco owed farmers $2.5 billion for cotton that was delivered last season.

Company managing director Pious Manamike told New Ziana that of the amount, only $750 million was still outstanding.

“So far we have received three tranches from government. The first was $500 million we got last year and another $500 million late last year to make it $1 billion,” he said.

“This year we got $750 million to make it a total of $1. 75 billion.

“So we still owe farmers another $750 million to make it $2.5 billion,” he said.

Manamike expressed confidence that Treasury will release the remaining amount at the end of March.

“We expect that balance to be paid by the end of this month,” he said.

At least 311 955 hectares of land were put under cotton this cropping season, largely as a result of government support to farmers through provision of agricultural inputs.

The government introduced a number of farmer support programmes such as the Presidential Input Scheme and Pfumvudza/Intwasa through which farmers are given seed, fertilisers and chemicals for free, to boost production.

New Ziana

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