By Christopher Makaza
Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (COTTCO) has begun registering cotton farmers for the 2019/2020 farming season under the Presidential Input Support Scheme. The registration exercise has seen increased interest in farmers who want to grow white gold, Harare Post has learnt.
In an Interview with Harare Post, Cotton Producers and Marketers Association Chairman, Mr Stewart Mubonderi commended the Presidential Input scheme, highlighting that it has to a larger extent transformed lives of rural farmers.
“As an Association we are really happy with the way people are responding to cotton growing. Our efforts to revive the cotton industry are bearing fruits as more and more farmers are registering to grow the white gold. Farmers are being inspired by the Presidential Input Support Scheme which is offering free cotton inputs to interested farmers.
“We really appreciate the input scheme and it is our hope that government will increase the inputs to cater for the growing population of cotton farmers.”
Mr Mubonderi said they are expecting nearly 200, 000 new farmers to register for the coming season, adding that last year registered 76, 000 new farmers.
Mr Mubonderi dismissed claims by opposition political parties that the Presidential Input Support Scheme is a political tool meant for vote buying.
“This input scheme is not a political gimmick as said by MDC Alliance leaders. It`s for every Zimbabwean who is interested in farming. We are, however, encouraging beneficiaries to desist from selling inputs on the black market. They must fully utilise them to maximise their production,” he said.
Mr Mubonderi urged farmers to avoid side marketing especially those who benefited from the Presidential Input scheme and those who received other inputs from COTTCO.