The Zimbabwean cotton sector has over the years taken a nosedive due to the plummeting prices of the commodity on the international market, which has resulted in farmers shunning the crop. Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that Ethiopian investors have expressed willingness to invest in the Zimbabwean cotton sector and hence the government will take the lead in ensuring that the cotton industry is revived.
He said that government will fully invest in the sector especially on the beneficiation thrust before opening the sector to foreign investors.
They have investors from Ethiopia interested in investing in the cotton industry. At the height of cotton production in this country, they were producing about 435,000 metric tonnes of cotton but were only able to utilize 30 to 35 percent of that cotton, the balance was sold as raw cotton, the VP said.
As the government is going to sponsor the growth of the cotton sector and come up with a cotton to textile value chain where they sell cotton products which would have value added.
The country is now averaging between 130,000 tonnes and 150,000 tonnes of cotton since the downward spiral of prices. Figures availed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation development show that 43,643 hectares were put cotton this summer cropping season as compared to 74,446 hectares which was planted during the 2015/15 farming season.
They want to open the cotton sector to foreign firms so that they also support the growth of the industry. The fall of cotton prices on the global market has affected the growth of the cotton sector in Zimbabwe, which has resulted in farmers shunning the crop.
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