Matabeleland North is working towards increasing its cotton hectarage by introducing the crop in all its seven districts.

Binga has already set aside 28 000 hectares for cotton production.

The planting of cotton has been concentrated on the northern parts of Nkayi, Lusulu and Siabuwa in Binga due to the proximity of the three areas to Gokwe.

During the previous agricultural season the three areas which produced cotton harvested between 0.6 and 0.8 tonnes per hectare due to late disbursements and low levels of inputs among other factors.

Matabeleland North provincial crop and livestock officer, Mr Dumisani Nyoni said the target is to have each household produce at least one hectare of cotton in Binga adding Agritex officers have already conducted pre-planting demonstrations to enhance knowledge of planting among communal farmers.

“Our target on harvesting is to have at least one tonne per hectare. Issues around cotton have been the poor payment and collection of the cotton in the past seasons and these are some of the issues that we will continue to address as we meet the farmers together with AMA and Cottco on the ground, so the mobilisation is in progress,” he said.

On the input distribution, 90 percrent of the households have been covered in Lupane while 6 out of 22 wards have received inputs in Tsholotsho so far.

The programme has covered 25 percent in Bubi and 15 percent in Hwange.

Meanwhile, the majority of the communal farmers will resort to draft tillage due to limited number of tractors in the province.