Edgar Vhera Agriculture Specialist Writer
COTTCO’S loss control and operations department have recovered 50 tonnes of free Presidential cotton inputs that had been diverted and sold illegally by some beneficiaries of the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme.
The company announced the development on its Twitter handle yesterday.
This follows an earlier posting by acting chief accounting officer Mr Munyaradzi Chikasha on November 15 in which he warned farmers against selling the free Presidential Cotton Inputs saying they were not for sale.
Cottco had subsequently activated its input tracking system and with the help of information from members of the public they managed to recover part of the loot.
Yesterday’s Twitter posting said: “The company has witnessed rampant abuse of seed, fertilisers and chemicals that farmers have been receiving since October under the Presidential Cotton Input Scheme. Farmers register to receive inputs and thereafter take the inputs to sell to other people thereby diverting the inputs from their intended use.”
Perpetrators have been arrested and some of the cases are before the courts of law. The statement said farmers were also selling CAN, lime, chemicals and knapsack sprayers.
Cottco has since advised inputs beneficiaries that it was a criminal offence to sell or abuse the Free Presidential inputs.
The statement further said: “If you notice inputs abuse in your area, please don’t hesitate to call or send a WhatsApp on 0716164893 or an e-mail to [email protected] or alternatively call head office on 08688002332.”
There has been a marked decline in cotton output over the years from the high figures of the 80/90s. Though all contractors agree on the decline in productivity, various players offer different opinions on the likely cause.
Cotton Ginners Association (CGA) acting chairman, Mr Caos Nzenze highlighted that climate change was one factor contributing to the decline in cotton production.
“Climate change is real and is negatively affecting cotton production. The advent of the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme over the past three years has lessened the impact of climate change,” said Mr Nzenze.