cotton.jpgShortage of cotton bells hits Chisumbanje as farmers await packaging material in order for them to sale their produce in time.

Buoyed by increased support by government towards cotton farming to restore production capacity realised in the past, most farmers in Chisumbanje who had shunned the cash crop managed to grow cotton last season.

The farmers said the incentives being provided now mean that cotton is now being sold at 51 cents per kg, a price they say is competitive.

The farmers who are full of praise for the government support programme to revive cotton farming in the country, however, said the packaging material is now a source of worry as they are failing to sale their produce in time.

“We commend government for supporting cotton farming that has increased cotton output substantially in the area. We, however, are experiencing challenges as there are no packaging materials for us to sell our produce,” said the farmers.

At peak production in 2012, small scale farmers produced 660 million bales of cotton which translated to 143 788 tonnes of lint and earned the country over US$200 million.

Zimbabwe’s cotton industry is recovering after experiencing viability challenges that resulted in production declining from 300 000 hectares in the 2011/2012 season to 110 000 hectares during the 2015/2016 agricultural year.