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Zimbabwe's Cottco plans to double cotton output
Aug '12
Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) has announced plans to enhance its output by two-fold to 200,000 tons in 2012-13 farming season.
During the 2011-12 season, Cottco’s contracted farmers produced 104,000 tons of cotton.
The company’s plan to double cotton production indicates that the sector has not been affected by the pricing row between cotton growers and ginners and merchants.
Earlier, cotton growers had refused to sell their crops as they were unsatisfied by prices offered by ginners. Taking guise of poor world market prices, merchants and ginners offered price between US$ 0.36 to US$ 0.50 per kg for this season’s crop, which was not acceptable to farmers.
However, the issue was resolved after the Government intervened and fixed procurement prices between US$ 0.77 to US$ 0.84 per kg.
Subsequently, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made forewarned the merchants that their licenses would be cancelled in the event of their procurement of cotton below the Government fixed prices.
For the forthcoming season, Cottco plans to contract 135,000 farmers nationwide, significantly up from 2010’s 100,000 farmers.
As revealed by the company, the farmers who participated in its input credit scheme during last season, would be allowed to prolong their participation as long as they have paid their debt. 
Against its ginning capacity of 265,000 tons, Cottco plans to procure 150,000 tons of seed cotton in the 2011-12 marketing season.
Experts say, in spite of the challenges like pricing rows and price controls, Zimbabwean cotton industry is poised to grow.
Next to tobacco, cotton is the second largest foreign exchange generating agricultural commodity in Zimbabwe, providing livelihood to more than 250,000 families in the drier parts of the country.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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