Cold temperatures affect cotton production

20 Jul, 2022 - 18:07 0 Views
Cold temperatures affect cotton production A farmer monitors her cotton balls that she harvested recently to avoid being grazed on by cattle in Mhangura.

The Herald

Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West Bureau

COTTON farmers under the Chinhoyi business unit, have raised alarm over the possible loss of yield this year as cold temperatures continue to affect cotton maturity.

The business unit, which is an area under the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) covering Chinhoyi, Hurungwe, Kariba, Makonde and Zvimba, projects losing at least 25 percent of this year’s yield to the cold spell and livestock grazing.

The low temperatures have seen cotton balls failing to split in time which has led to livestock eating them.

Farmers in Mhangura have now resorted to taking turns in guarding their cotton fields from livestock. Mhangura also has the most farmers contracted under Pfumvudza Cotton Inputs Scheme.

The winter period sees most communal farmers allowing their cattle to range and forage with relative freedom after they finish harvesting other summer crops.

To avert livestock grazing on cotton crops, Mr Richard Diki (68) and other farmers are now harvesting the yet-to-mature balls so that they split to produce fluffy lint at home.

Mhangura Cottco depot manager, Mr Sinoia Sinoia and Chinhoyi business unit manager, Mr Claudius Kanhema said the area could record losses due to climate change.

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