COTTON farmers in Chipinge district have bemoaned the low prices that the crop is currently fetching on the local market.
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
The farmers urged government to intervene and set prices that would keep them in business in the next farming season.
Some farmers said they feared a repeat of the 2011/2012 season where ginners offered US$0,30 per kg, a price they said was economically unsustainable.
“I have a lot of cotton in my field and it is ready for harvesting, but the thing is, I do not know whether I am going to get much from it,” said Thandiwe Fusire, a farmer near Checheche growth point.
“Last season, we suffered a huge loss as the price offered was not tallying with the costs of inputs.”
Fusire, who has 20 hectares of cotton, said most farmers sold a bale of cotton for US$60 last year, down from US$180 in the 2010/11 season.
Another farmer, Petros Muyambo from Chinyamukwakwa Village under Chief Garahwa urged the government to intervene.
“Our main worry is that of the low price of 30 cents per kg. It [the money] is nothing and the government needs to help us this season,” he said.
“We depend on cotton farming and if the government does not help us, we will be in serious problems.”
Local Agritex Officer, Tafara Muzonda said farmers in Chipinge district had increased their cotton hectarage expecting a change of fortunes this year.
“I can confirm that we have a lot of cotton in this area despite farmers not getting much money in the last season,” said Muzonda.
“In two weeks’ time people will start picking the cotton, while waiting to hear news about the prices.”