By admin       2018-10-25

Midlands Bureau ZIMBABWE is seeking to double its cotton production in the forthcoming summer cropping season amid growing demand for the country’s produce on the international market. Agriculture Marketing Authority (AMA) acting chief executive officer, Mrs Nancy Zitsanza, said there was a huge demand for Zimbabwe’s cotton, which she said was ranked third in the world. “Zimbabwe cotton is the third best cotton in the world according to the international market ratings. “Our cotton is now highly regarded in terms of quality. It is also on demand and there has been underproduction of cotton in the country,” she said. “The crop has the potential of generating foreign currency hence the plans to double production this coming season.” Mrs Zitsanza said Government has already started distributing cotton inputs ahead of the summer cropping season to ensure that farmers are not inconvenienced. “Government has already started distributing cotton seed and other accompanying inputs to cotton farmers ahead of the summer cropping season. We want farmers to be fully prepared to enable them to increase production,” she said. Mrs Zitsanza said Government has put in place mechanisms to ensure proper grading of cotton so that farmers who produce high quality cotton are not prejudiced. “Our cotton has increased in terms of quality and is now being highly regarded on the international market because of this grading system. All merchants are required to grade cotton under Government supervision,” she said. Last year cotton farmers delivered more than 75 000 tonnes of cotton to merchants compared to 138 000 tonnes delivered this year. More than 300 000 farmers and approximately one million people are relying on cotton farming in Zimbabwe. Midlands’ cotton farmers alone have so far this year delivered more than 70 000 tonnes to cotton merchants.

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