2024 cotton marketing season: Farmers get cash on delivery

Edgar Vhera

Agriculture Specialist Writer

THE 2024 cotton marketing season started on June 6 with licenced merchants wasting no time in heading to production areas to buy the white gold with many doing on-the-spot cash payments.

The Agricultural Marketing Authority’s (AMA) has since declared that no seed cotton bale will be moved from the common buying point (CBP) unless it has been fully paid for in terms of the grade D price of US$0, 32 per kilogramme.

AMA also reminded farmers and other stakeholders that growers would get 75 percent of their money in United States (US) dollars and the balance in local currency in line with Government’s policy on the payment modalities.

This time around the marketing season will run for a month.

In a recent X (formerly Twitter) post, AMA confirmed that the 2024 cotton marketing season was in full swing.

“Here in Mutoko, Cottco is paying farmers on the spot once they deliver their crop. Over the years, farmers have been complaining of late payments, but this year, AMA, as the regulator, has tightened screws on errant contractors,” said the X post.

A farmer, Mr Edson Mafudza concurred saying Cottco was only paying the US dollar component on spot and promising to pay the local currency part when funds are available.

“Farmers were paid US$0, 24 per kilogramme in cash on spot with the balance of US$0, 08 in local currency expected to follow after 14 days or when the money is available,” he said.

He said some merchants were giving growers US$0, 32 per kilogramme, all in hard currency with no local currency component and also promising to pay US$0, 43 irrespective of grades.

Cotton Ginners Association chairman, Mr Jonas Chindanya agreed saying in view of the decline in production this year as a result of El Nino, they had agreed to pay their contracted growers all the money in US dollars to cushion them, instil confidence and stimulate production in the coming season.

“All our members have been licenced to buy seed cotton and we are paying the grade D price of US$0, 32 per kilogramme, 100 percent in foreign currency after seeking approval from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

“To remove scepticism, we are also going to give our farmers grade-based adjustments in foreign currency,” elaborated Mr Chindanya.

Meanwhile, stakeholders in the Zimbabwe Agricultural Think Tank – Cotton Council Discussion Forum (ZATT-CCDF) raised their concerns on the granting of buying licences to merchants who still owe farmers payments as well as the grade-based differential money from the previous seasons.

Efforts to get a comment from AMA on the matter were fruitless by time of going to press as management was said to be engaged in meetings.

Some affiliates of ZATT-CCDF, however, feel there was need for the grading of seed cotton to be done immediately upon delivery of the crop to the contractor with the farmer being given the correct grade prices promptly to avoid incidences of non-payment of the differential money.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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