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Farmers threaten to boycott cotton sales

News
Zhombe farmers have threatened to withhold their cotton crop in protest over the low price buyers were offering this season. High grade cotton will be selling at 50c/kg, down from $1/kg offered last year. Last week, cotton growers and buyers agreed on 50c/kg, which translates to $100 for a 200kg bale of cotton. The farmers […]

Zhombe farmers have threatened to withhold their cotton crop in protest over the low price buyers were offering this season.

High grade cotton will be selling at 50c/kg, down from $1/kg offered last year.

Last week, cotton growers and buyers agreed on 50c/kg, which translates to $100 for a 200kg bale of cotton.

The farmers said they would continue pushing until the price reaches about $1/kg.

Gideon Mhini, a farmer from St Jude’s in Zhombe, said the price was too low hence it would push them out of business.

“We are not going to sell at that price. We will hold on to our crop until they come back to their senses.”

Some farmers in the area were reported to have been offering 20c /kg to cotton pickers in anticipation of a higher price this season after cotton prices peaked at $1 during the last selling season, before falling to 40c.

Zhombe MP Roger Tazviona, who is also a farmer, said the prices offered by cotton buyers were “too low” and needed review if government was serious in promoting agriculture.

The MP confirmed that most of the farmers in the cotton-growing area had approached him after they resolved to withhold their crop until prices improved.

“They won’t be selling until the price is reviewed. The sad thing is cotton used to be the white gold, but now it’s worthless, something has to be done,” said Tazviona.

Cotton farming is the backbone of the Midlands Province’s economy after gold and diamond mining.