Zimbabwe is seeking to double its cotton production in the forthcoming summer cropping season amid growing demand for the country’s produce on the international market. Agriculture Marketing Authority (AMA) acting chief executive officer, Ms Nancy Zitsanza, said there was a huge demand for Zimbabwe’s cotton, which she said was ranked third in the world. “Zimbabwe cotton is the third best cotton in the world according to the international market ratings. Our cotton is now highly regarded in terms of quality. It is also on demand and there has been underproduction of cotton in the country,” she said. “The crop has the potential of generating foreign currency hence the plans to double production this coming season.”
Ms Zitsanza said government has already started distributing cotton inputs ahead of the summer cropping season to ensure that farmers are not inconvenienced. “Government has already started distributing cotton seed & other accompanying inputs to cotton farmers ahead of the summer cropping season. We want farmers to be fully prepared to enable them to increase production,” she said. Ms Zitsanza said the government has put in place mechanisms to ensure proper grading of cotton so that farmers who produce high quality cotton are not prejudiced. Last year cotton farmers delivered more than 75,000 tonnes of cotton to merchants compared to 138,000 tonnes delivered this year. More than 300,000 farmers & approximately one million people rely on cotton farming in Zimbabwe.
Midlands’ cotton farmers alone have so far this year delivered more than 70,000 tonnes to cotton merchants.