Source: Govt distributes cotton inputs | The Herald June 5, 2017
Tawanda Mangoma in CHECHECHE
Government has started disbursing free cotton inputs under the third successive Presidential Free Inputs Scheme at various collection points dotted across the country.The development comes as farmers have started delivering cotton grown this season to various collection points. As of last week, Cottco had purchased 500 tonnes of cotton in the southern region.
Despite rising cases of side-marketing in many areas, farmers have been challenged to register the number of hectares which they will devote towards cotton production in the coming season to help Government source adequate inputs.
Addressing hundreds of cotton farmers who attended a Field Day at the Chinyamukwakwa area, Chipinge South legislator Cde Enock Porusingazi said farmers should champion the revival of the country’s breadbasket status by fully utilising inputs availed.
He said it was unfortunate that some farmers in his area refused to make use of fertilisers issued by cotton companies, saying they had bad effects on their soils.
“As you have seen, President Mugabe keeps his promises,” he said. “Trucks full of fertilisers, chemicals, herbicides and cotton seed are already delivering inputs to each and every buying point.
“This is to show you how serious Government is when it comes to reviving the cotton and other agro-businesses we have in this country.” Cde Porusingazi challenged farmers to desist from side-marketing of the Government-funded cotton inputs, citing serious repercussions if such actions were unmasked.
“We want to emphasise this to you, Government funded cotton production through the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe,” he said. “I want to make it clear to other companies, don’t lie to yourselves that Government funded cotton, so that you can come and harvest while you neglected your farmers. Everyone must sell to the company which contracted him or her.”
Cde Porusingazi said Government was going to continue supporting farmers. “Government is going to support farmers till Amen,” he said. “Look, they are paying cash for every cotton delivered.”
Addressing the same gathering, Cottco business manager for the southern region Ms Marjory Chaniwa said they would pioneer a soil sampling exercise in Chipinge to help farmers understand the need for fertilisers in their farming activities. She said it was everyone’s duty to protect investments made by Government, hence the need for farmers to stop side-marketing.
“We will be registering farmers for inputs to be used next season,” she said. “As you bring your bales at various buying points we have established, make sure you get registered.”
For every hectare of cotton, Cottco will be issuing 100kg Compound L and 50kg Calcium Ammonia Nitrate. The package also includes 20kg cotton seed, 3x500ml asetamac, 1kg cabarets, 2x250ml cabosaphate and extension work.