Drought affects cotton production

Source: Drought affects cotton production | The Herald June 24, 2019

Drought affects cotton productionMr Mlambo

Emmah Chinyamutangira Manicaland Correspondent
Manicaland is expected to record a decrease in the volume of cotton this year following a poor season where the quality and weight of the crop was affected by the drought which hit the province.

Despite the effects of drought, the cotton has also been affected by frost as the bolls are failing to split, making it difficult to produce the 5 000 tonnes targeted this season.

Manicaland provincial crop and livestock officer Mr Cephas Mlambo said cotton farmers were still harvesting since they had delayed planting and might finish in August after the window period for harvesting.

“Manicaland is expected to record poor quality cotton this season due to the late crop which was affected by the prolonged dry spell. The farmers should have finished harvesting by now but since they delayed planting, they are expected to finish in August after the winter season as the bolls of the cotton are failing to split due to frost,” said Mr Mlambo.

He said out of the 8 896 hectares planted in Chipinge, Buhera, Rusape and some parts of Mutare, farmers were expected to produce about 4 448 tonnes this season.

One of the cotton farmers in Chipinge told The Herald that they were delaying harvesting this winter since the cotton bolls had not split yet.

“We delayed our planting because of late rains and we also replanted some of the crop due to poor germination and this contributed to the late harvesting. We have finished our first round ripping, but now our harvesting is not progressing since the crop is being affected by frost, meaning we will register huge losses,” said Tendai Chisandu.