The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) is providing farming inputs to cotton farmers for the 2018/19 s farming season. According to Cottco’s statistics, 324 517 farmers have received inputs so far. The programme is targeting 400 000 farmers countrywide. In an interview with the Herald, Cottco operations manager Marjorie Chaniwa said
We have progressed very well in terms of distributing the inputs and we are within our targets… The criterion is to give preference to farmers who benefited last season and delivered the produce. Last season, we had situations where growers received inputs and used them on other crops while others sold the produce to other companies.
We are winding up the movement of seed (raw) cotton from the buying points and we have moved about 125 000 tonnes, leaving a balance of only 3 000 tonnes which we should clear in the next two weeks.
Cotton production has been in steep decline in the country in the past few years. The major challenge facing cotton farmers has been very low producer prices, making the business unviable for farmers. The crop is mainly grown on clay soils in the drier and hotter regions of the country such as Gokwe and Muzarabani.