Cotton farmers in Gokwe have pressed the red button over the shortage of packaging material and have requested to also be considered for part payments of their dues in cash.

The farmers said the prevailing status is eroding all gains even the government incentive on cotton.

The white gold is a strategic crop for the country as a foreign currency earner, hence the government initiated the presidential cotton free inputs scheme supported by an incentive for growers of the crop.

This has brought relief to most cotton producers in Gokwe ultimately resulting in increased production.

Fast forward to the marketing season, the farmers are back in dilemma this time highlighting shortages of packaging material and that part of the payment for the produce should be made in cash.

For them, the digital money is a huge cost taking into account the inflated percentages being demanded when they want to also transact.  

Upon inquiry, Gokwe Chireya COTTCO Clerk, Granny Mapako told the ZBC News that money was not the problem but said farmers are reluctant to embrace plastic money which is abundant.

He however conceded that packaging material is a challenge.   

The farmers fear their crop is now exposed to adverse weather conditions which may compromise quality and subsequently affect the price.

Cotton production had significantly dropped owing to low prices and side marketing but following the government’s intervention and support through the presidential input scheme programme the crop is now on the rebound making the concerns by the farmers an area needing attention of authorities.