Cotton seed purchases rise 48pc

Cotton seed purchases by main contractor, the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) have risen by 48 percent to 69 146 metric tonnes, up from 46 748 metric tonnes purchased by the same time last year.

In a trading update, Cottco said it has so far paid US$15,9 million to farmers for deliveries made to its depots throughout the country.

“As the buying season draws to an end, the company has achieved a 48 percent increase in intake from 46 748 metric tonnes in 2022 to 69 146 metric tonnes in the current season,” it said.

“The remaining 32 percent is expected to be cleared in the month of September 2023 as market liquidity improves,” it said.

Cottco said farmers’ morale improved in the 2021/22 buying season when they were paid 75 percent in foreign currency, thereby increasing their interest to grow the crop.

“Interest to grow the crop was rekindled resulting in 360 224 being registered as compared to 294 202 growers in the previous season,” it said.

Meanwhile, Cottco said it is already focusing on preparations for the 2023/24 summer cropping   season.

“Suppliers for the Presidential inputs for cotton production have commenced delivery of fertilisers for distribution to farmers, which will be helpful in early crop establishment, given the forecast of El Nino weather patterns for the forthcoming season,” it said.

As at the end of August 2023, at least 690 metric tons of basal fertiliser had been delivered to Cottco business units in Muzarabani, Gokwe, Chiredzi, Kadoma, Chinhoyi, Mutare and Mt Darwin.

In 2022, farmers delivered 116 025 tons of the crop, up from 82 000 tons in 2020, as Government support through subsidies and various input programs bear fruit.

Cotton is mostly grown under contract arrangements in Zimbabwe with ginners providing inputs and buying the produced seed cotton. 

The Government through Cottco is the main contractor accounting for more than 85 percent of all cotton production. – New Ziana.

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