Govt to avail $36m for cot­ton in­puts

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Harare Bureau

GOVERN­MENT will avail ap­prox­i­mately $36 mil­lion to­wards the cot­ton in­puts sup­port scheme for the 2016-2017 farm­ing sea­son as it seeks to achieve lint ex­ports of 90 000 tonnes un­der the five year Cot­ton to Cloth­ing strat­egy.

The Cot­ton to Cloth­ing strat­egy was fa­cil­i­tated by the Min­istry of In­dus­try and Com­merce in 2014 and is funded by the Euro­pean Union.

This five-year strat­egy de­liv­ers a uni­fy­ing roadmap with an am­bi­tious set of tar­gets, in­clud­ing a steep in­crease in yields to 1 200 kilo­grammes per hectare that will ben­e­fit 250 000 small­hold­ers.

The strat­egy also sets out to in­crease pro­duc­tion of cot­ton lint to 450 000 tonnes per year, and for ex­ports of tex­tiles and gar­ments to reach 90 000 by 2019, when the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the strat­egy is ex­pected to be com­plete.

“These tar­gets which are cer­tainly am­bi­tious are achiev­able with a co­or­di­nated ap­proach by all stake­hold­ers. The tar­get of achiev­ing 90 000 tonnes in lint ex­ports is achiev­able,” said As­so­ci­a­tion of Cot­ton Value Ad­ders of Zim­babwe di­rec­tor Ad­mire Masenda at a press con­fer­ence to give an up­date for the Cot­ton to Cloth­ing Ind­aba to be held on Fri­day in Harare.

To meet the tar­gets, Govern­ment has promised to avail about $36 mil­lion for the cot­ton in­put scheme this sea­son.

“This will be an im­prove­ment from about $24 mil­lion which was chan­nelled to­wards cot­ton in­put scheme last year,”

He said de­spite the sup­port be­ing shown by Govern­ment, the is­sue of drought re­mains a chal­lenge for most cot­ton farm­ers. Mr Masenda said the cot­ton in­puts sup­port scheme has played a ma­jor role in re­viv­ing cot­ton farm­ing in the coun­try.

Speak­ing at the same event, Min­is­ter of In­dus­try and Com­merce Mike Bimha added that there was a need for farmer sup­port con­sid­er­ing that some farm­ers are now com­ing back to cot­ton farm­ing.

“Much still has to be done to make sure the strat­egy is a suc­cess but we are hope­ful that through Govern­ment sup­port this sea­son will be a bet­ter one,” said Min­is­ter Bimha.

The Cot­ton to Cloth­ing Ind­aba will be of­fi­cially opened by Min­is­ter Bimha.

Govern­ment will avail ap­prox­i­mately $36 mil­lion to­wards the cot­ton in­puts sup­port scheme for the 2016-2017 farm­ing sea­son as it seeks to achieve lint ex­ports of 90 000 tonnes un­der the five year Cot­ton to Cloth­ing strat­egy

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