The cotton sector is set for a boom amid reports that the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (COTTCO), in conjunction with a local seed company, have conducted trials on a new hybrid seed imported from India, which has the potential to turn the industry into a billion dollar sector.
Information gathered by ZBC News and confirmed by COTTCO shows that from earning at least US$80 million in foreign currency earner, the white gold is set to hit the US$2 billion mark, following the introduction of the new seed hybrid.
“Yes, we have finalised trials of the hybrid, it can yield a minimum of 80 balls per plant from an average of 24 balls on the current seed. This means that a farmer who used to produce 600kgs per hectare can multiply and produce about 12 tonnes per hectare. This also means more forex for the country. Last year, we raked in about US$80 million in forex and with this, we can achieve US$2 billion if it is grown at commercial level,” Manamike revealed.
Cotton used to be one of the biggest foreign currency earners for the country and with the introduction of the Indian hybrid, the cash crop which is a source of livelihood for over 400 000 families is likely to attract more commercial farmers and boost the country’s foreign currency earnings.