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Govt asks textile firms to contract farmers
Sep '11
Zimbabwean Government has asked domestic textile processing firms to enter into contracts with farmers who would supply them with raw inputs.

Acting President John Nkomo, during the 17th annual congress of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmer's Union (ZCFU), said it has become difficult to raise funds owing to the restrictions placed on the country.

He stated that foreign lenders are charging higher rates of interest, due to which it becomes even tough for the farmers to arrange finances and cash on it.

Hence, Mr. Nkomo said, a system in which cotton ginners contract farmers would prove mutually beneficial, as pursuant to such agreement, farmers would ensure regular supply of inputs to textile production and processing firms, who, in turn, would benefit as they will have assured market for their crops.

Cde Nkomo however cautioned the farmers to be vigilant while inking such deals to save themselves from contracting to sell their produce for meagre prices.

He further stated that recapitalization is essential for farming, but the banks would not continue to extend advance credits for defaulters.

He revealed that the Government has introduced many steps to boost productivity of the farmers. He said the Government is in course of buying new tractors from Brazil and other countries to add to the existing fleet already on farms.

It is also establishing mobile service centres which would extend assistance to the farmers with repair work of their equipments and tractors on farms, he added.

He revealed that the Government has mobilised US$ 45 million from the summer cropping season to make fertilizers and seeds available at subsidized rates.

Donald Khumalo, ZCFU President, alleged that farmers were not at ease with the contractors who claimed their entire produce during the selling season even without supplying the required inputs to the farmers.

He stated that some of the firms deceptively raise the input prices and offer lesser prices while procuring the contracted produce from the farmers.

He also expressed concern regarding incessant power outages that has driven many farmers to abandon farming.

The theme for this year's annual congress of ZCFU was "Regaining the country's bread basket status through enhanced agricultural production".

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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