The 2018 cotton marketing season has kicked off countrywide with the Presidential Free Cotton Inputs Scheme expected to surpass the 100 000 tonnage mark targeted for this season.

The commencement of cotton marketing season was officially announced by the Agriculture Marketing Authority (AMA) when it released the market share for all the six contractors who supported the growing of the white gold this season.

The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) which is expected to buy 95 percent share of cotton sponsored under the Presidential Free Inputs Scheme confirmed that it is all systems go in the cotton buying points established countrywide. 

The company’s boss Pious Manamike is upbeat to hit the 100 000 tonnage mark and has mobilised adequate funds to pay the farmers for their white gold.

According to the cotton regulatory board AMA, five private cotton contractors will purchase a total 5 370 tonnes which is 5 percent of the expected output.

However, reports of side marketing whereby private companies are allegedly enticing farmers to divert cotton sponsored by government are increasing in Gokwe, Rushinga and Muzarabani.

Observers appealed to relevant authorities to take deterrent measures against alleged cases the private contractors who are buying cotton sponsored under the Presidential Free Inputs Scheme.