Traditional leaders from cotton growing areas are demanding that government provides a permanent solution to the cotton prices impasse as this affects the lives of farmers.
Uncertainty continues to rock the cotton sector as the price remains pegged at 30 cents per kilogramme.
Early this week, the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr Joseph Made says government is mulling the revival of the textile sector as a solution to the challenges bedeviling the cotton sector.
“As government we want to revive the textile industry as the cotton prices are determined by international market forces,” said Dr Made.
However, traditional leaders from cotton production areas are saying this is not a solution as the proposed idea cannot be implemented immediately.
Chief Nyamangara of Zvimba, Chief Ngezi of Chegutu and Chief Mashayamombe of Mhondoro noted that thousands of families are now living in poverty due to the producer price stalemate.
They called on the government to provide clear solutions that can help alleviate the plight of cotton farmers.
“We come from areas where they grow cotton and farmers are not happy……they say they want to revive the textile industry but the farmers will not be able to go back to the field next season. We are demanding a solution,” the Chiefs said.
Meanwhile, the House of Assembly Member for Sanyati, Cde Zacharias Ziyambi said the production of cotton is no longer viable as the inputs used are more expensive than the offered producer prices.
“The inputs used were expensive and the production of cotton will be shunned. This is an important sector of the economy and something has to be done urgently,” Cde Ziyambi said.
Cotton farmers have begrudgingly accepted that they will not get higher prices this season and are selling their crop at prices as low as 30 cents per kilogramme.
This means they will not be able to grow cotton again next season as they had hoped for at least 45 cents to break even.