Cotton farmers in the Lowveld say  shortage of pesticides has dampened their hopes of a good yield this season.

100 000 hectares of cotton were planted in Chiredzi this season with farmers hopeful of getting a bumper harvest.

Most of the cotton farmers in Chiredzi were sub contracted by different companies to grow the white gold.

While hopes for a bumper harvest were high, the farmers say the shortage of inputs has adversely affected operations.

Some reportedly gave up on their crops after failing to acquire sufficient pesticides.

The farmers say if the country is to attain high yields, sufficient inputs have to be availed.

Parrogate Cotton Company was among the companies which sub contracted cotton farmers in the Lowveld.

The company’s regional manager Mr Dakarayi Makuyana said the intense rains received in Chiredzi resulted in the chemicals farmers used on their plants being quickly washed away.

The other challenge that has affected cotton farming in the Lowveld is side marketing by farmers who sell their produce to other companies, forgetting that they are obligated to sell to the companies who sub contracted them, says Mr Makuyana.

“For a long time now, the biggest challenge has been farmers who ignore their obligations and sell to people who did not give them inputs,” Mr Makuyana added.

The last three years have seen cotton output in the country dropping by over 70 percent, a situation which forces the country to import fabric.