Cotton deliveries have intensified in most areas following the announcement of floor producer prices by the Government last week.
Government announced a producer price of $43.94 per kilogramme for the 2020-2021 cotton marketing season, which gives the farmer a 15 percent return and ensures viability and competitiveness of the cotton industry.
The producer price will be paid out in three sums of US$10 for each bale of cotton delivered, 38 percent of the value of a 200kg bale in cash and the balance transferred electronically to farmers’ mobile money accounts.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union president Mr Abdul Nyathi yesterday confirmed that the marketing of cotton was going on well ,with most farmers happy with the prices.
“Deliveries are increasing as the issue of prices has been clarified,” he said, adding that farmers were happy with the price and the foreign currency component.
Cotton growers have touted the price as viable and will cushion most of them during the lockdown period, which limits economic activities.
ZFU director Mr Paul Zakariya said: “The producer price is viable to the farmer for now. In a bid to preserve value for the farmer, it will be necessary to within reasonable time-frames review.”
He urged farmers to improve on efficiencies and increase yield per hectare from the current low of around 500kg to well above 3 000kg per hectare.
Cotton Producers and Marketers Association national chairman, Mr Stewart Mubonderi said the price will help cotton farmers buy food, especially maize.
Zimbabwe National Farmers Union vice president Mr Edward Dune said the producer price was reasonable as it provided some form of cushion to farmers.
“Activity on the ground has increased. Farmers are happy, but we urge merchants to pay early so farmers can get the value of their money.”
Cottco acting managing director Mr Pious Manamike said they had started accepting deliveries from farmers.
“We have been assisting our farmers by paying an advance payment of $1 000 per bale delivered as we waited for the announcement of the producer price,” he said.
About 90 percent of cotton growers are being sponsored by Government under the Presidential Inputs Scheme.