cotton.jpgLocal cotton farmers are hopeful that their crop will fetch above a dollar when the marketing season that is expected to start early next month begins.

The cotton sector is gearing up for the marketing season that usually begins in April and farmers are hopeful that the crop will fetch at least a US$1,10 per kilogramme this marketing season as it is currently selling for US$1,20 on the international market.

A major cotton sector conference is being held in Victoria Falls this week after which stakeholders are anticipated to commence pricing negotiations as the crop is ready for harvest in most parts of the country.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union Second Vice President, Mr Berean Mukwende told ZBC News that farmers are optimistic of better prices due to the prevailing price on the international market as well as the fact that India and China, which are among the leading producers, have stopped cotton exports.

Cotton prices are formulated through discussions between the Agriculture and Marketing Authority and the Cotton Marketing Technical Committee which brings together ginners, farmers and farmers organisations and representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.

Cotton Producers and Marketers Association Chairman, Mr Morris Mukwe   however said farmers are yet to receive last year’s premiums for graded cotton after ginners paid a flat rate.    
Last year, cotton was pegged at US$1,05 cents for grade A and 96 cents for grade B after a review from 60 cents per kilogramme.

An estimated 300 000 hectares of cotton were planted this year up from last year’s 180 000.