The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) has scooped the Most Improved National Exporter of the Year Award, thanks to the Presidential free inputs scheme which boosted the growing of the white gold.

Cotton used to be the second largest foreign currency earner after tobacco but the cash crop nosedived as most farmers abandoned growing it owing to poor prices.

The white gold is however back on track with the biggest producer, Cottco winning the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) Most Improved Exporter of the Year.

“This is a result of the government intervention through the Presidential inputs scheme. Remember since its launch, production shot up from 10 000 tonnes in 2015 to about 140 000 tones this season. So credit also goes to the management at Cottco which implemented the scheme successfully,” noted Zimbabwe Cotton Marketers Association Chairperson, Mr Steward Mubonderi.

The introduction of foreign currency retention to cotton farmers is expected to boost exports.

“We are happy farmers can now have access to foreign currency, which they can use to buy local or foreign goods requiring forex. This will go a long way towards boosting exports,” said Mr Mubonderi.

This season, Cottco is expected to export lint worth US$80 million up from US$11 million in 2017.