The government is working towards the elimination of cotton side marketing in the sector in order to ensure smooth and successful marketing and competitive producer prices, Great Dyke News 24 reports.
Speaking during the official launch of the 2021/22 seed cotton marketing season held recently at Chitekete growth point in Gokwe North, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr. Anxious Masuka said to eliminate side marketing, a new statutory instrument to amend Section 13A of SI 142 of 2011 which stipulates that all contractors are to sign binding MOA for buying arrangements with farmers among other aspects have been put in place.
“The Agricultural Marketing Authority ( AMA) is working closely with all registered cotton contractors to ensure a smooth and successful marketing season.
“I have always emphasized the need for farmer viability and discipline in the production and marketing of cotton as these are the bedrock for a successful agricultural marketing season and for the sustainable transformation of the industry.
“It is my wish that the 2022 cotton marketing season runs smoothly and will be of great benefit to cotton growers, cotton merchants, and Zimbabweans in general.
“Cotton is an important crop for Zimbabweans capable of transforming the rural areas through rural industrialisation. This is why the government is focused on increasing its stake in cottco from 37.1 percent to at least 51 percent while insuring that cottco operations are fully devolved to rural areas, so ginning and value addition and beneficiation can take place in rural areas to create jobs and accelerate rural transformation,” he said.
He added that the government extended the Pfumvudza / Intwasa scheme to seed cotton which is expected to build the cotton industry by 2025.
“Through the presidential Cotton Inputs Scheme together with the smart approach of Pfumvudza/ Intwasa that has been extended to cotton, we will build this industry brick by brick and stone upon stone ‘ to a USD 5 billion industry by 2025,” he said.
Speaking during the same event, Agricultural Marketing Authority Chief Executive Officer Clever lsiah said this season , a total 332 212 farmers were contracted and the area put under cotton is 262 643.3 hectares.
“The projected output from the crop and livestock assessment report is 116 521 000 kgs compared to 137 761 685 kgs realised last year which is a 15 percent decline.
“AMA has and continues to engage all contractors at each stage and an MOU that facilitates sustainable seed cotton marketing and payment ,modalities has been put in place,” he said.