BY MOSES MATENGA
COTTON farmers in Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central provinces said the new hybrid seed provided to them by the government and Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) has kept them in the game and managed to register growth in yields during the past season.
The farmers who spoke to journalists during a media tour of Chinhoyi and Muzarabani last week said the yields registered this year were bigger than in the last season and attributed the growth to among other things, assistance from the government and Cottco.
One of the farmers, Chief Muzarabani said: “I always want to show my subjects that there is money in cotton and we are embracing just that. We received inputs from the government and huge support from Cottco and we are seeing changes.
“This is our cash crop here in Muzarabani and Cottco has helped us a lot. We received free inputs but of course, there are some abusing the facility and end up selling them. We are dealing with such elements.”
One of the farmers, Talent Majoni (32) from Makonde in Mashonaland West province said: “The yields have increased significantly compared to the last season and I managed to buy a lot including a motorbike. I also managed to build a house among other things.”
Cottco managing director Pious Manamike said there was a significant growth in farmers wanting to grow cotton for several reasons.
“We have a growing interest in farmers wanting to grow cotton now. They (cotton farmers) are the most pampered now,” Manamike said.
“We have been affected by droughts. This year was fine but there was too much rain and that was not good for cotton. We took the hybrid seeds and in our demo plots, it came out well and we took it to farmers. We got a fivefold improvement from the previous yields.”