Cotton farmers hail on the spot payment

Staff Reporter

Cotton farmers have hailed the Government for its speedy disbursement of cotton payments and said that this marketing season was better as compared to previous years.

Farmers in Mashonaland Central who spoke to this publication thanked the Government for the free cotton inputs availed to them through Cottco and the subsequent US dollar payment being given to farmers.

Chief Muzarabani, born Alfonso Chuzu who is also a cotton farmer, said people were happy with the payment model currently being offered by Cottco.

“Farmers are happy with the current payment model. Last year, we were receiving US$10.00 on top of some local currency per each cotton bail, but this year we are being paid US$60.00 and some local currency upon delivery of same to Cottco. The exciting thing is that the money is being paid instantly,” said Chief Muzarabani.

Chief Muzarabani further hailed the Government for its programme of availing free inputs to cotton farmers and urged the Government to continue with the programme as it has empowered people.

“We applaud the Government for its free cotton inputs scheme which has empowered the local people. It’s like we are being given free money by the Government because we are being sponsored with every farming input. However, I urge the Government to quickly distribute the inputs this year to enable cotton farmers to plan on time,” added the Chief.

Another Muzarabani cotton farmer, Demusochi Mazarura showered praises on President Mnangagwa and the Second Republic.

“President Mnangagwa is a people-centred leader who is doing a great job for us farmers, but there are those who want to discredit these huge strides towards socio-economic development. We are receiving inputs for free to support our agricultural activities. I foresee an increase in cotton farmers this coming season due to the good prices being offered by Cottco. I thank the Government for returning cotton to its status of being a white gold. We are now able to improve our livelihoods through money we are getting from cotton farming,” said Mazarura.

Nerih Mushonga, a cotton farmer in Mt Darwin, urged other women to consider growing cotton as it has the potential to positively transform lives.

“Women should consider growing cotton as it has the potential to transform women’s lives. There is no much labour in growing cotton as the inputs are availed for free by the Government through cotton. The prices again are good. We thank President Mnangagwa for this free input scheme as it has helped to eradicate poverty amongst the people,” said Mushonga.

The intervention by Government on cotton production through the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme was meant to revive the sector, which was collapsing due to low prices offered by merchants and other problems related to inputs.