Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Cotton farmers hold on to their crop, buyers yet to get licences

Cotton farmers hold on to their crop, buyers yet to get licences


COTTON farmers in Zimbabwe are in a fix and holding on to their crop amid reports the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) is yet to approve companies to start buying the crop.

Tarisai Mandizha
Business Reporter

The development has left the cotton growers in a desperate situation. Addressing journalists in Harare, Chipinge South MP Enock Porusingazi said in addition to the delay in marketing the crop, the price of cotton had not yet been announced.

Porusingazi said cotton buying companies had assured farmers in Chipinge that there were ready to buy their crop, but there are waiting for licences from AMA.

“We are saying AMA should allow farmers to sell their cotton and find another way to deal with the companies without holding on to their licences,” he said.

Porusingazi said natural region three was the highest cotton growing area and was projected to produce 25% of the total national crop, up from last year’s 15% contribution. He said farmers in the area were struggling to survive and pay school fees for their children because of the delay in marketing their produce.

“Region three is the highest cotton growing area. There is a bumper harvest this year, but the problem is that the crop is taking a long time to be marketed,” Porusingazi said. “Farmers do not know what price they are going to be selling the crop at.”

He said farmers started harvesting the crop at the beginning of April and up to nine companies had supported farmers with inputs.

Porusingazi said if farmers kept on stocking the crop, quality would be compromised and most of them would shun growing cotton next season.
He said there had been several cases of fire outbreaks destroying cotton stored in huts which were being used by some farmers as bedrooms.
“It has never happened that it takes three months before cotton is sold. Usually it is sold in April soon after harvesting,” said Porusingazi.


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