Farmers dump cotton farming

SOME cotton growers countrywide have resorted to growing other crops, with others, particularly in Mashonaland West, switching to soybeans and maize following a disastrous 2012 marketing season.


Cotton fetched low prices of $0,35 per kg instead of the promised $1,50 at the start of the 2011-2012 season, resulting in farmers incurring huge losses.

According to the latest African Development Bank (AfDB) monthly report, most farmers had not begun planting by November.

“In as much as cotton companies were sending agents to engage farmers, most of the growers were not willing to produce the crop this season,” the regional lender said in its report.

“Instead they are diversifying, growing other crops such as sugar beans, soybeans and groundnuts under conservation farming in anticipation that this move will increase yields and reduce production costs.”

AfDB said by the third week of November cotton should have been planted, but by then, the farmers had not yet received inputs.

“This meant that even if they still planted the crop this season, they would almost certainly obtain low yields as they missed the planting dates. This, combined with the fact that most of the growers are shying away from the crop, may affect the crop output,” AfDB said.

The bank noted that there had been general concerns that agricultural development was seriously underfunded against a background of severe food insecurity that had been haunting most parts of the country for more than a decade now.

AfDB said the government should also disburse funds to seed houses on time in order to allow farmers to access inputs timeously.

These seed houses were, however, still owed millions in government debt and thus prevented from responding adequately to farmers demands.

The agricultural sector was allocated $159,4 million in the 2013 National Budget, representing 4% of the total Budget vis-a-vis the 10% set target of the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security.

5 Responses to Farmers dump cotton farming

  1. Tobacco January 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    Cotton mumwe wangu wakasara

  2. Gutter Poet January 3, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    Now you have the whole country growing tobacco in place of maize and cotton and the expertise earned over years in these two sub-sectors has been flushed down the is of course with special thanks to our minister of agriculture and that of finance who have not laid out a clear policy direction for our agriculture that we find ourselves in this ugly ‘plot'(saga?). Added to this are the ‘monster kings of mediocrity’ at the GMB who have seen it fit over the years not to pay for deliveries timeously, opting instead to frustrate and kill hopes and dreams of producers of our staple feed. Just like the skills lost by closed industry decimated left right and centre due to paucity of coherent policy direction. Needlesslessly this has put paid to the many skills developed therein over the years.Most of it has been internally displaced and some has flown the coop..replaced by a coterie of thieves and layabouts masquerading as management killing same under the pretence of scarce skills (non-existent) to extract ridiculous salaries and benefits far divorced to what they put in.Getting this land functioninng properly again is not going to be a stroll in the park. All our frustrated young the universities are churning out are going to be at sea as they are thrown into the deep end without proper guidance on the ground to give them grounding and focus to manage the ropes when their time comes….To say the last 12 years have destroyed all built over a century is to say it lightly…Is it maybe not time we went back to the drawing board with hungered energy to lay a proper plan about where to take the land between two rivers forward? Most of the current crop of political leadership appears to be presently caught in the headlights of personal glitter and material accumulation to the detriment of anything else.In their books and dreams the word TOMORROW has assumed a dirty sound and immediate consumption and ostentation have been christened anew as the way of life. If this does not make you weep, what will? This is happening in a government not a bob short of professors and doctors..I simply give up! Or should I?

  3. fact January 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    well said,the issue with cotton did not state last selling season but two seasons back,the issue is that the minister of farming Made owns a majority shareholding in cottco comoany and he also negotiates the price at which cotton can be sold so the price which was helped set up by Made was way below the international market,MADE made a kill out of our poor farmers.the previous season he forced private buyers to buy from cottco,clear violation of corporate goverance and ethnics,anywhere it ZANU PF the looters.ndoempowerment here iyo

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