By admin       2018-05-02

02 MAY, 2018 - Cotton farmers have urged the Government to announce a new producer price for this year’s crop to mark the beginning of the new marketing season that started yesterday. The development comes as farmers in areas such as Checheche, Chiredzi and Bikita have already started delivering their crop to buying points. Cotton Producers and Marketers Association chairman Mr Steward Mubonderi yesterday said cotton farmers were expecting a bumper harvest this year as they never encountered challenges with inputs. “We are very much delighted with the quality of the crop we produced with inputs support from Government under the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme. Farmers have already started delivering their crop at buying points,” he said. “Farmers are appealing to Government to announce a new producer price for this year’s crop. “We believe if the producer price is announced quickly we will plan our activities properly.” Mr Mubonderi challenged farmers to be honest and sell their crop to companies that financed them. “It is that period of the cotton season when farmers would start to promote side marketing. “I want to appeal to farmers to be very professional this season and make sure they deliver their crop to companies which financed them,” he said. “If a farmer received inputs from company A, just pay back by delivering your crop to them since they helped you establish. Do not sell your crop to other companies.” He said side marketing was a threat to the growth of the cotton industry in Zimbabwe. “Side marketing is a cancer which seriously affected the cotton industry last season. Many farmers sold their crop to firms that had not supported them and this was very wrong because it has serious effects on the industry,” said Mr Mubonderi. The Agriculture Marketing Authority is expected to issue cotton buying licences to companies this week in a move tailored to foil side marketing. Last season Grade A cotton fetched 55c per kg, Grade B (50c), Grade C (45c) and Grade D (40c).

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