Embrace entrepreneurship, farmers urged

LANDS and Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka has urged cotton farmers to transform their operations into business entities.

Speaking at the World Cotton Day commemoration yesterday, Masuka said there was need to value-add cotton farming

“Let us be philosophical, yet practical, about our approach. It is agricultural development that will cause rural industrialisation and it is rural industrialisation that will power rural development and rural development will facilitate the attainment of Vision 2030,” he said

The cotton sector enjoyed a 61% increase this season, with 90 085 metric tonnes against 56 044 metric tonnes for the 2020/21 season.

Masuka said reviews of the Agriculture, Food Systems and Rural Transformational Strategy (AFSRTS) are expected to boost cotton production.

“Under the current review of the AFSRTS, the cotton sector is projected to grow to 189 000MT. The value of the cotton, and farmer payments this year, US$29 million and ZWL$28 billion, an average of US$175 per grower,” he said.

“I must hasten to caution farmers against misuse of inputs, side-marketing and all other ills. I have had a good discussion regarding widening this scheme with other contractors.”

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