Communal farmers have been called upon to take advantage of government’s agriculture programmes in order to maximise their yields.

The call was made by Masvingo Provincial Administrator Mr Fungai Mbetsa when he officially launched the 2018 Free Cotton Inputs Scheme in Rutenga.

“This is your time as farmers to work hard, maximise production considering the support you are getting from the government. The aim of all these agriculture programmes is to ensure food security and self sustenance,” he said.

The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) said they will continue supporting cotton farmers through the free inputs scheme and have since launched another programme to support farmers with potential but without draft power.

“We now have another programme where we are going to partner with farmers who have got potential but without draft power. For this year we are targeting 50 000 hectares for those farmers,” Marjorie Chaniwa-Head of operations Cottco.

Cottco also assured farmers that they have since acquired enough bales for farmers to pack their produce since there were shortages due to increased production.

The Free Cotton Inputs Scheme began in 2015 and is aimed at reviving the cotton industry.

This year the target has been set at 400 000 households countrywide and beneficiaries will get seed, fertiliser and an assortment of agrochemicals for pest control.