cotton.jpgCotton farmers are crying foul over the prevailing pricing system which they say prevents them from making any profit from the sale of their produce.

 

As the cotton marketing season approaches, with the producer price pegged at 30US cents per kilogram, a cross section of cotton farmers say the price is not viable.

 

Speaking at a stakeholder’s conference on cotton marketing issues affecting the industry Gokwe Small Scale Growers Association Chairman Mr. Ishmael Gwekwerere said the low prices offered by buyers are negatively affecting the livelihoods of cotton producers.

 

These sentiments were echoed by Mrs. Raphael Paradza who has been in the industry for 30 years.

 

Mr. Dakarayi Matanga , Executive Director of Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt Development which hosted the conference said stakeholders in the cotton sector should work together to ensure a fair trade system.

 

He said: “More than 95% of the seed cotton produced in the country is grown under contract. The contract system came under severe strain as farmers opted to sell their crop to non-contract buyers.”

 

However government last year ushered stringent measures expected to curb side-marketing and to ensure that both cotton merchants and contractors honour their obligations.