Zimbabwe aiming at boosting cotton production in the country is considering to pay out a five percent export incentive to cotton producers this year, following governmentâ€™s injection of $42 million fresh capital into the sector, a Cabinet minister said.
Cotton used to be a strategic crop in the country as it was grown by about 250 000 smallholder farmers.
Finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, said that starting with this yearâ€™s cotton crop, they are going to pay five percent incentive to cotton growers, They are encouraged by the investment made into cotton production this season. Chinamasa said that they expect cotton farmers will follow suit when they know that the incentive is available for them.
Zimbabwe introduced bond notes late last year as an incentive to exporters but there are fears in the market that the $200 million facility will be exhausted soon leading to over-printing.
According to Pius Manamike acting managing director of Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) recently about 150 000 farmers had planted the crop this season with Cottco having disbursed 6 000 tonnes of seed, equivalent to 300 000 tonnes of cotton.
The parastatal is expecting to harvest no less than 110 000 tonnes of the crop previously known as â€œwhite goldâ€.
Manamike also pointed out that 70 000 farmers had received sprays with 50 000 litres of herbicides having been allocated to date, after the cropâ€™s hectarage increased to 300 000 hectares from 200 000 hectares prior season.
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