Tawanda Mangoma in Chiredzi
The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) is urging all farmers whose crop failed to germinate properly to visit their nearest depots to collect seed for replanting.
Cotton farmers in Chiredzi and Checheche reportedly suffered a major setback after high temperatures affected the germination of their early-planted crop. National Cotton Producers and Marketers Association chairperson Mr Steward Mubonderi last Friday said Cottco had since communicated with the affected farmers.
“Government, through Cottco, distributed inputs on time and most farmers were racing against time for an early crop, he said. The early showers, which were received across the country, also excited most farmers who planted the cotton since all required inputs were available. We, however, suffered from a prolonged dry spell in areas such as Chinyamukwakwa, Checheche, Cherechere and Chiredzi, hence the poor germination rate recorded in some of these areas.”
Mr Mubonderi said Cottco had favourably responded to the plea by the affected farmers.
“We advised Cottco of the dilemma, which we had to endure because of the harsh climatic conditions, he said. We asked for the early delivery of replanting seed as the very areas of Chiredzi and Checheche started receiving rainfall this week.” Mr Mubonderi challenged Government to consider cotton as a priority crop, which needs to be grown under irrigation.
“Cotton used to be grown under irrigation in Chiredzi at Mkwasine Estate, he said. We recorded very high yields at those irrigated plots and we hope in this new dispensation cotton would be afforded space on irrigable land.”