Cotton producers want textile company

By Nathaniel Gondo

CHINHOYI – COTTON Producers and Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (CPMAZ) has
urged the Government to add value to the cotton crop and set up a textile company and other
downstream industries.
The national chairman of CPMAZ, Stewart Mubonderi, said during a meeting with Zanu PF
Political Commissar, Dr Mike Bimha, in Chinhoyi that there was need to value-add the cotton
crop before exporting it.
If we export lint we sell it at US$1/kg, which in turn produces cloth that is worth US$15. So we
lose a lot by exporting without adding value to cotton. Our plea is that the Government must
come up with a policy like what they did with lithium that is exported after being processed and
Ninety percent of Zimbabwean cotton is exported while only 10 percent is left for the market.
The Government revived the cotton industry through the Presidential input scheme. Cottco, the
Cotton Company, also has a programme, where it ploughs for free for every cotton farmer and it
is also employing recently graduated agronomists.
Farmers were encouraged to start farming the “white gold” as it is paying more than maize.
The cotton price this year jumped from US$0.32 to 0.40.
A bale costs US$90 and if a farmer produces five bales that's US$450/t, while for maize is
US$335/t. Cotton inputs come for free, while for maize one has to buy inputs and it requires
many fertilisers. Come back, the white gold is back, he said.
He said the Presidential input scheme was a starting point for farmers but the scheme must also
be introduced especially for commercial farmers.
Presidential input scheme was a noble idea but it must be like Pfumvudza, packaged along the
same lines. Its a starting point for every farmer be in Gokwe, Muzarabani, Mhangura and
Makonde etc.
Theres need to set up command cotton for the commercial farmers. We really need to have
something like command agriculture, which opens up lines of credit for commercial cotton
farmers, said Mubonderi.

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