Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Cottco seeks monopoly

Cottco seeks monopoly 


Source: Cottco seeks monopoly | The Herald April 2, 2018

Cottco seeks monopoly
Cottco should come up with measures to combat side-marketing

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe has called on Government to reinstate its monopoly on cotton marketing in order to ensure its viability and combat side marketing of the produce. In an interview recently, Cottco managing director Mr Pious Manamike said the liberalisation of the market has seen several companies surfacing during cotton marketing to buy the product to contracted farmers using higher producer price as a bait.

He said Cottco was using millions of dollars per year to provide inputs and pay agricultural extension services to cotton farmers only for the unscrupulous buyers to surface and wipe out the produce, thus elbowing out the State entity from recouping its costs.

“Deregulation of the industry by the Government was good because it brought about competition, but it brought with it viability challenges for us because of side marketing.

“Indeed we are not afraid of competition, but the playing field is not even when some companies just sprout out during harvesting period and reap where they did not sow,” said Mr Manamike.

He said the current challenge of side marketing could only be addressed by returning Cottco’s monopoly which it used to enjoy before the turn of the millennium.

“Everything should be situational. Nothing should be strait-jacket. A good example is that of National Railways of Zimbabwe, you cannot have several companies providing railway services.

“It is the Government that should do that, hence we have that monopoly. Certain challenges can only be addressed by a monopoly,” he said.

“If a company provides inputs on credit and if there is a monopoly, those unscrupulous farmers have nowhere to sell their produce.

“But with the advent of several buying firms, these farmers would sell their cotton to these fly-by night firms, who would have not incurred any costs in providing inputs and extension services.”

He said another alternative was for all buying firms to pool resources to contract farmers and only those who would have made a contribution would buy the product.

Mr Manamike implored the Agricultural Marketing Authority to ensure fairness among cotton marketing companies.
“We need to have common database on people who would have been contracted and that information should be furnished to us at the commencement of the season.

“AMA should have software to flush out double contracting. We want an accurate database that reflects reality,” said Mr Manamike.

Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture Rural and Resettlement chaired by Gokwe Nembudziya MP Cde Justice Mayor Wadyajena recently toured Cottco depots to have an appreciation of the firm’s operations.


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