Gokwe South to harvest $20m cotton

Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
Gokwe South is looking forward to harvesting over $20 million worth of cotton this season, an official has said. Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Jason Machaya told The Herald that farmers who had abandoned cotton in previous seasons reverted to the crop after Government promised better prices. Minister Machaya said the cotton growing area had surpassed its target due to the lucrative arrangements dangled by Government.

Government disbursed cotton inputs under the Presidential Cotton Free Inputs through Cottco.

At least 6 000 tonnes of cotton seed and adequate basal fertiliser were distributed, which is enough to cover 300 000 hectares targeted in the summer cropping season throughout the country.

Minister Machaya said Gokwe South was going to be transformed for the better by cotton this season as it looked forward to harvesting over $20 million worth of the crop.

“Most cotton farmers had for the past few years abandoned the crop, saying that the pricing structure was not favourable for them,” he said.

“Cotton production in Gokwe dropped drastically.

“However, this season I’m informed that over $20 million will be circulating in Gokwe South alone from the cotton sells.

“I am also pleased to inform you that all the farmers who benefited from the Presidential Cotton Free Inputs have promised to deliver their produce to Government.”

Minister Machaya said Government would seriously monitor the farmers to ensure that there was no side marketing.

The low cotton pricing regime, which the sector experienced in recent years, saw just under 30 000 tonnes of cotton being realised, according to Government statistics.

The cotton industry value chain had been distorted owing to low output, which affected industries in textiles, footwear and oil expressers.

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