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Zimbabwean govt to revive cotton production: Minister
Oct '13
The Zimbabwean Government is looking at reviving cotton production in the country and would be probing into the factors responsible for the sharp fall in production of the crop over the past year, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Patrick Chinamasa said.
The Minister said this while speaking at a press meet organized to unveil the US$ 161 million agriculture input support program of the Government for crop and livestock for 2013-14 season. 
According to the Minister, cotton production in the country is estimated to have dropped from 283,000 tons in 2012 to 145,000 this year against the targeted 250,000 tons.
Zimbabwe hit an all time high in cotton production in 2000 with an output of 353,000 tons, and the Government intends to re-establish the cotton production at the same level, he added.
Noting that cotton along with all its value chain, is a key cash crop for the nation, which earns considerable foreign exchange for the country, the Minister said that the Government is not pleased to see that traditional cotton growers are shifting to other high return generating crops like tobacco. 
Mr. Chinamasa said the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development would be looking into every value chain to identify what is going wrong and where, so that the Government could accordingly plan where it needs to intervene.
The Zimbabwean Government even intends to draft a policy intended at stimulating cotton production in the country, he added.
Meanwhile, the Cotton Ginners Association (CGA) has estimated that during the 2013 marketing season, which ran from April end till August, cotton arrival plummeted by nearly 60 percent. 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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