The quality of this year's cotton has dropped across all the districts in the Western Zone of Tanzania. Only Meatu, Maswa and Bariadi districts in Simiyu Region have produced quality cotton, according to the recently released figures reflected business conducted between June 21 and September 1, this year, said Mr Kisinza Ndimu, the Principal Ginnery Officer of the Tanzania Cotton Board (TCB).
At least 120,000 tonnes of cotton has been bought from farmers in the Western Zone, where 99 percent of the country's cotton is produced annually, the cotton board has confirmed.
He said that their target is to purchase 150,000 tonnes -- this is, therefore almost 80 percent of that target.
During the last cotton buying season, production dropped by 26 percent compared to the previous season 2014/15 where nearly 150,000 tonnes were bought.
However, he criticized that he attributed the poor quality in harvested cotton to farmers adding foreign particles to the produce in their bid to cheat on the weight.
Farmers reportedly went to the extent of adding water and stones. Last month 30 farmers from the Western Zone were fined Sh10 million for tampering with weights of their produce.
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