Blessings Chidakwa in Kadoma
Government has warned private cotton contractors to desist from buying the white gold from farmers that they didn’t support.
This, Government argues, was next to sabotage since it was availing all inputs for free to all small-scale holder farmers.
In an interview yesterday, Sanyati District Agritex officer Mrs Evelyn Ndoro said private cotton buyers who are serious about supporting cotton farmers should supply total packages to the farmers.
“We have observed a trend where most contractors would only supply a single input like seed or fertiliser, but would record that the farmer was fully-funded in their database,” she said.
Mrs Ndoro said this resulted in Government being prejudiced after availing full inputs for free.
She warned farmers against being lured by such firms who prejudice Government.
“The price differences being offered by these contractors is slightly different from those offered by Cottco hence our appeal to farmers to sell their produce to Cottco alone to support Government, which has shown its commitment to revive the industry,” said Mrs Ndoro.
Mrs Ndoro said farmers had completed harvesting their cotton crop and were now in the process of destroying stalks to meet the August 15 deadline.
Complete destruction is expected by September 10.
“Most farmers usually leave the stalks as a way of reducing production costs for the next season as no new seed is required,” said Mrs Ndoro.
“However, the ratooned crop usually matures early and farmers harvest for the second time.”
Mrs Ndoro urged farmers to observe the cotton closed season to curb pest and diseases build ups.
Carry-over crops, she said, had a negative impact on the cotton industry.