|Growers give up on cotton prices|
|Friday, 20 July 2012 00:00|
Cotton growers have given up lobbying for higher offers and have started selling their crop at low prices being offered by buyers. Government that recently said cotton was now a controlled product is yet to announce prices.
Merchants are buying cotton at US$0,35 per kilogramme, a price which most farmers say is unviable.
Cotton growers had been withholding their crop since April in anticipation of high prices, while others were waiting for Government to come up with a price.
The farmers wanted a price of between US$0,85 to US$1,50 per kilogramme. Most growers said they were now selling their crop as they were desperate for cash. Gokwe farmer, Mr Lovemore Sanyika, said he had no choice but to sell the crop.
“We have nothing to do. The quality of the crop is deteriorating while we wait for prices which may never come,” he said.
Mr Sanyika said many growers in his area were selling the crop to buy food and pay school fees.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union second vice president, Mr Berean Mukwende, said farmers banked their hopes on Government’s intervention.
He said they were now confused.
“A number of growers were waiting for Government to gazette prices but up to now nothing has come out. At least farmers should be informed of what will be taking place. Now they are confused and do not know what to do,” he said.
Mr Mukwende said Government should take action quickly since there was no time. ZFU director, Mr Paul Zakariya, said farmers in some cotton growing areas had indicated they were switching to groundnuts and other viable crops.