Farmers demand higher cotton price from Cottco

October 03, 2005 - Zimbabwe

Cotton farmers, small and marginal have demanded price of $21 as against the prevailing price of $11.30 per kilogram for ‘A’ grade cotton, say Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) sources.

Arguing that the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) made pre-tax profits worth $1.2 billion last year, they say paying their prices will not be difficult for the company.

Speaking to media, ZFU Director Kuda Machakaire informed production costs has gone up and stated that Cottco can pay more this year on the basis of excellent performance, last year.

He claimed farmers were running up losses and price paid per kilogram of cotton fetches 10 kilograms of cotton, today.

Besides, Machakaire said, fertilizers and pesticides input costs have gone up worrying farmers about paltry returns there from.

Meanwhile, media sources quoted Cottco official stating the company had announced only 'interim' price of $11.30 per kilogram.

He pointed out that interim price is not the final one and shortly, the final price of this season would be announced.

Company official denied that price issue had precipitated into a conflict between the company and farmers who want fair treatment from Cottco.

He denied any conflict between the company and the growers over cotton price.