More than 20 thousand cotton farmers in Gokwe South in the Midlands Province have benefitted from a joint partnership cotton contract programme between a Zimbabwe Defence Forces owned company, Viridis, and a Chinese investor.
The commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Costantine Chiwenga applauded the defence forces for their sterling work in the fight against poverty in rural areas through cotton production.
He was speaking at a field day, which was held at one of the beneficiaryâ€™s homestead in Gawa in Gokwe South.
He said cotton is one of countryâ€™s key crops and with adequate resources and technical support, it can make huge contribution to the country Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Virdis is a ZDF company, which is in partnership with a Chinese investor company, Winlint International.
In his key note address, the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr Joseh Made described the partnership as a remarkable achievement in the area of agriculture.
He said the programme will not bring numerous benefits to Gokwe South farmers but to the country as well.
The Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Xin Xin Ken told the investor and other players that for the problem to be another success story, there should be active participation and ownership of the programme by the community.
He added that the presence of ZDF and its partners in Gokwe will create competition in the buying of cotton.
Meanwhile, Chinese agricultural experts and their Zimbabwean counterparts are conducting a research in an effort to come out with the best seed that produces high and quality yeild.
The joint partnership contract cotton farming is a pilot project that was focused in two provinces of Mashonaland West and Midlands and indications have so far proved that the project is viable and is likely to be extended to other provinces.