The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (COTTCO) is set to take delivery of 10 thousand metric tonnes of a new high yielding seed variety in the coming weeks as it forges ahead with plans to boost production to 500 thousand metric tonnes per year.

Plans to generate $2 billion per year from cotton production are gathering momentum with the delivery of 10 thousand metric tonnes of the new high yielding variety expected this year.

Speaking to the ZBC News in Sapa, Mbire district, Cottco Managing Director, Mr Pious Manamike said all is set for the pilot project which will boost output beginning this cropping season.

“As you know agriculture is dependent on rains, We are optimistic and happy about the SADC weather forecast that there will be normal to above-normal rains in the first half of the season then probably normal to below normal in the second half.All the inputs we require have been procured so it’s all systems go. You may want to know we spoke about the new variety last time, we have already paid for the variety that is coming from India and we expect the seed to land in a week or two. So we are starting off this year with 10 000 hectares which translates to 10 000 farmers, then we roll it out as we go in the coming years,” said Manamike.

Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Cde Douglas Karoro, challenged the local leadership to guard the inputs jealously to increase national productivity.

“I ask you leaders to ensure the inputs are used wisely.  I thank Cottco for all they are doing and also for corporate social responsibility in this district,” said Karoro.

The Cotton Producers and Marketers’ Association is also committed to working with growers to surpass previous production targets.

50 thousand growers have registered to grow cotton in the Muzarabani Business Unit which covers Mbire and Muzarabani districts.

A national production target of 200 thousand tonnes is envisaged this season, with 504 thousand expected in the next few years following introduction of the high yielding varieties.