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Zimbabwean govt. releases $6m into cotton inputs

Raising hopes for a much bigger harvest, the Zimbabwean government has released about $6 million to procure additional cotton inputs under the Presidential Input Scheme, it is understood. This comes after farmers in some major cotton producing areas had reported shortages of fertilizers and chemicals as farmers planted a bigger hectarage than the initially projected.

The $6 million worth of inputs are in addition to $42 million the Government is spending to finance cotton production. The programme is being administered by The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe, which has since been taken over by the Government through conversion of debt into equity.

The national cotton crop is expected to register substantial increase this year. Incidentally, this growth has been driven by Government support in the form of free inputs and the good rains. However, the yields would have been affected as a result of shortages of top dressing fertilizers and chemicals that protects crops from diseases. The success of cotton in Zimbabwe was built around the inputs of Cottco credit scheme which started in 1992 and ensured that farmers received adequate funding and quality incentives.