Lovemore Zigara, Midlands Correspondent
COTTCO has started distributing picking bags to cotton farmers as the harvesting of the white gold begins.
The company also intends to distribute 500 000 woolpacks, commonly referred as bales, for 150 000 contracted farmers.
Cottco managing director Mr Pious Manamike told Business Chronicle: “We are about to start the marketing season and we are making preparations for the intake and to achieve that we have started distributing picking bags, which are required to pick the cotton to ensure that there is no contamination to the crop”.
Mr Manamike said Cottco was also distributing woolpacks in readiness for the buying season so that once farmers pick the product, it will be packed appropriately.
“We are targeting to distribute 500 000 woolpacks so that we can accommodate all our farmers who grew the crop this season,” he added.
The Cottco boss urged cotton farmers to grade their crop as they will be paid according to the quality of the crop.
“Over and above that we are training our farmers to grade their crop to ensure that they maximise on the grade related prices, this year being the second year running grade related prices,” said Mr Manamike.
Cottco paid 35 cents per kilogramme (kg) for 10 800 tonnes of cotton delivered to the company last year before making an undertaking to pay a pricing adjustment based on the quality of the crop.
The company subsequently paid out 10 cents to make 45 cents for Grade A cotton while an adjustment of six cents was made for Grade B cotton to make 41 cents, Grade C fetched four cents to make 41 cents and Grade D cotton having a total price of 37 cents after an adjustment of two cents.
The country is expected to harvest 110 000 tonnes of the crop this year after 300 000 hectares was put under the crop. This was after the company disbursed cotton inputs under the Presidential Cotton Free Inputs Scheme where 6 000 tonnes of cotton seed and basal fertiliser were distributed to cover the hectarage planted.