All outstanding payments by the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe amounting to US$2.65 million and 2.8 million in ZiG will be cleared by 31 May 2024

Cotton exports set to increase by US$34m

THE Presidential Cotton Inputs scheme has revived cotton farming with Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) expecting US$34 million increase in export earnings this marketing season, the company has said.

According to a report released recently on the inputs scheme, since its introduction in 2016 more farmers have taken up cotton production resulting in exports volumes increasing.

“Export revenue grew from US$4,5 million to around US$85 million in 2017/18 season.  In 2020/21, the foreign currency inflow was US$26 million and Cottco is expecting to bring in at least US$60 million as export revenue in the current marketing season ending on 31 March 2022,” the report read.

According to the report, the scheme, which used to benefit around 155 000 households in support of the government’s poverty alleviation strategy, has now grown to over 420 000 households due to the introduction of   Pfumvudza/Intwasa Cotton programme.

It also revealed that due to more farmers engaging in production of cotton, Cottco was now processing its cotton with the private sector.

“The coming of the presidential cotton inputs scheme saw Cottco resuscitating the production of cotton in areas like Mutoko, Mutare, Masvingo, Buhera, Banket, Kwekwe and Mvuma, among other areas.

“New developmental areas such as Tsholotsho, Lupane, Shangani, Insuza, Maphisa and Gwanda have been opened in Matabeleland South and North provinces because of the acceptance of the presidential cotton inputs programme in these areas.

“Seed cotton production volumes increased from 10 800 metric tonnes in 2016 to 116 053 metric tonnes in 2020/21 season, a growth of 975 percent.

“Operating capacity utilisation also grew from 10 percent to 100 percent; Cottco is now outsourcing ginning from other ginners with idle capacity on a toll ginning arrangement,” the report further read.

This comes as the Agriculture ministry is pushing for the production of cotton as its by-products produce cooking oil and animal feed as the soya bean production has been low these recent years.

The report also says the presidential scheme was also benefiting many other stakeholders in the value chain including the textile industry, cooking oil industry, transport industry, local authorities, government departments, and suppliers in different categories, retail industry and many other stakeholders.

According to the report, more than 2,5 million people benefit directly or indirectly from cotton production every year in Zimbabwe.

This season cotton produced under the Pfumvudza scheme is priced at $63,23 per kg and cotton financed under non-government funded arrangements is $111,17 per kg. – By Melisa Chatikobo