75% forex retention for cotton farmers

By Regis Mhako
COTTON farmers are set to get 75 percent forex retention on their crop starting this marketing season as part of efforts to increase production of the white gold.
The decision to pay 75 percent of cotton deliveries in forex was announced by Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister, Dr Anxious Masuka during a prize giving ceremony for three national cotton farmers of the year held in Makonde this Thursday.
The awards saw the Mhlauri family winning a new tractor and implements valued at about US$24 000 for clinching the first prize, while the Majoni and Wasarirevhu families were the other winners.
“I grew three varieties and got 107 bales. 59 bales got the A-grade, 32 were B- grade. 15 C and one D,” said Mr Peter Mhlauri, the National Cotton Producers’ 1st prize winner.
Cottco Managing Director, Mr Pious Manamike praised the Indian produced mahico cotton hybrid variety which has better returns when compared with local ones.
“With mahico, you can get five times more. So we are appealing for that hybrid. This time we are paying farmers at buying points,” said Manamike.
Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Mary Mliswa noted that enhanced production of cotton will spur growth of the textile industry.
“We lead and others follow . We got 30 000 tonnes last season. This will ensure our ginneries will continue working and promote the textile industry,” encouraged the minister.
Meanwhile, Makonde legislator, Honourable Kindness Paradza has called for stern measures to deal with middlemen who are exploiting farmers without offering any production support.