Tawanda Mangoma in Chiredzi
Cotton farmers have started delivering their products to several buying points (depots) countrywide as the white gold’s harvesting peaks.
The buying seasons starts on Monday next week and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) announced recently that they will be paid in foreign currency.
Cotton Producers and Marketers Association’s chairman Mr Stewart Mubonderi said last week that their members were moving into a fresh season in high spirits following Government announced that they will get part of their payments in foreign currency.
“We are very delighted that the Reserve Bank (of Zimbabwe) has announced that for every cotton bale weighing over 200kgs the farmer get US$10, RTGS$150 and the rest would be paid on mobile money platforms,” he said.
“Delivery of cotton below 200kgs to 150kgs would see a farmer getting US$5 and RTGS$150 while the rest paid in the phone or account.
“The farmers have already started delivering cotton bales to various buying points as cotton merchants have already given them advance payments.
“This season we are moving with high speed after government announced the RTGS $1,95 price per kg.
“We are hopeful that this will minimise side marketing, which is common during this time of the year”.
Mr Mubonderi said Government had invested in the production of cotton upon realisation that many farmers were pulling out due to operational challenges.
He said it was also important for the cotton farmers to be supported through irrigation development projects.
“Given the forex requirements for the country, it is prudent for cotton to be produced more seriously and under irrigation farming so that we increase the yield turnover.
“We are happy that a new cotton variety has been developed, this is going to help meet our target to restore the lost pride. We seek to produce over 400 000 tonnes of the white gold per season, every season,” said Mr Mubonderi.