|Government to end cotton farmers’ woes|
|Wednesday, 04 July 2012 14:21|
GOVERNMENT will soon start mobilising resources to resuscitate the textile industry to create a market for local cotton farmers.
The move is expected to end farmers’ reliance on prices set on the global markets and address the price wars that have rocked the industry yearly.
“It is the function of Cabinet to facilitate the resuscitation of the processing industry with a view of saving farmers and our agro-based economy,” he said.
Government is yet to announce the new cotton price though some ginners are reportedly capitalising on the farmers’ desperation to offer prices ranging between US$0,31 and US$0,35 per kg
Minister Made said Government rejected the notion of international prices used by ginners and contractors to prejudice farmers of revenue when they would have given them inadequate inputs at prices that do not allow farmers to break even after marketing.
“Ginners and merchants have formed a cartel to make sure farmers are perpetually obligated to them through carry-over debts as most of them would have failed to service their debts at once because of poor prices,” he said.
Government, said Minister Made, was moving swiftly to amend the cotton Statutory Instrument and break the cartel.
The Statutory Instrument seeks to make the cotton crop for the 2011/12 season a controlled commodity, effectively giving the State the power to fix the price.
“I am obligated to the farmers and I will try to establish their costs of production as well as the ginning costs to give all parties a fair deal.”
prices that do not factor in their costs of production.
For the industry to be revived, he said, it was critical to support it with resources such as modern equipment, finance and reliable sources of energy.