Cottco anticipates increased production

Cottco anticipates increased production
Published: 06 March 2014
The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) expects production of the crop to rise this year as more farmers utilise the communication facility that it introduced to relay technical information.

Cottco introduced a two-way communication platform which uses the mobile telephone short messages system to relay critical technical information to farmers.

Managing director Collins Chihuri said the company expected more farmers to utilize the facility this year.

"We are expecting a paradigm shift as far as communication with cotton growers is concerned and we believe that once they understand this new system production is expected to boost," he said.

Chihuri, however, said low ownership of cell phones among farmers, most of who live in rural areas where use of modern technologies is not widespread, was hindering utilization of the facility.

Main cotton growing areas in Zimbabwe include Gokwe and Sanyati in the Midlands, the Zambezi Valley, Chegutu, Mazowe Valley and Makonde in Mashonaland Central and the Lowveld.

Chihuri said production was expected to increase to at least 600 000 tonnes at an average yield of between 1 500 kg to 2 000 kg per hectare.

He said all cotton growers would be put on the company database so that when they sent enquiries they would be directed to the responsible personnel.

Side marketing has plagued cotton marketing seasons over the years as farmers evaded repaying loans for agricultural inputs they would have received from contracting companies.

Farmers accuse the contracting companies of inflating prices of the inputs, which they say they take out of desperation.

- New Ziana
Tags: Cottco,


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