The rainfall trends being experienced have seen some areas receiving below normal rains which resulted in poor germination of the cotton crop in other parts of the country.

The affected farmers are appealing for extra inputs under the Presidential Free Cotton Inputs to replant.

Prospects of a good cotton harvest this cropping season have been dealt a heavy blow due to poor germination as a result of sporadic rains received in some parts of the country.

Areas such as Checheche, Nyamukwakwa and Munepasi in Chiredzi district recorded poor germination with the most affected appealing for supplementary inputs under the Presidential Free Cotton Inputs so that they can replant on.

“It’s unfortunate that we did not receive adequate moisture for germination. The rains were poor so if we can be provided with more inputs, there is plenty time to replant and achieve good yields,” said one of the farmers in Checheche.

The farmers are optimistic of doubling production with some already increasing hectarage to bargain on the new central bank incentive which will see cotton and tobacco farmers retaining 20 percent of their proceeds in foreign currency.

“Given more seed to replant, we wish to double hectarage so that we can benefit more on the 20 percent RBZ forex incentive this season,” noted another farmer.

An assessment of the white gold crop in Mashonaland Central shows that farmers who planted with the first rains have a good crop while other is still busy planting.

The Presidential Cotton Free Inputs has so far distributed seed, fertiliser and chemicals to about 350 000 farmers as the production of the white gold continue to show signs of recovery.

From about 74 000 tonnes last year, about 142 tonnes of cotton have gone under the hummer this season, raking in over US$80 million in forex.