By ETimes

Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) on Thursday said it is looking at unlocking a further ZWL$800 million to clear outstanding dues to farmers after the payment of the outstanding 2020 subsidy by the government.

Cotton is a key source of income for rural growers. The company embarked on the exchange of cotton for groceries in order to settle some debt to farmers in outstanding payments. But, some decry the end of cash payments.

Also it managed to pay farmers ZWL$3 billion from funding raised during the season.

In order to ensure that cotton farming remains viable, the government generously committed an additional ZWL$22 per kg delivered by farmers as a subsidy payment.

“The total subsidy for 2021 is ZWL$2.53 billion and ZWL$500 million was released and paid to farmers during the third quarter ended 31 December 2021,” said the company.
“The balance is anticipated shortly from the Treasury.”

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Power shortages delayed the ginning schedule, according to the company. This comes as 93% of the seed cotton intake had been ginned by the 31st of December 2021 with production now set to end in January 2022.

“Zimbabwean hand-picked cotton is in high demand and the company’s order book exceeds production volumes.”

The country’s cotton deliveries increased by 39% to 114 656 tonnes towards the end of the buying season of 2021 from 2020 total output of 82 479 tonnes.

Cottco is reviewing projects for value addition and increased use of technology in its processes to enhance operational efficiencies, said the company in its outlook – Harare

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