Zimbabwe’s 2017 cotton selling season has begun with the country’s sole authorized buyer, Cottco, setting aside 44 million U.S. dollars to buy the crop.
Cottco managing director Pius Manamike was quoted by the state-run news agency New Ziana on Monday as saying that the selling season opened on May 22.
Zimbabwe is expecting a cotton output of 110,000 kg, up from 30,000 kg last year.
Manamike said Cottco would pay 55 cents per kg for top grade and 40 cents for the lowest grade.
“We are encouraging quality cotton, hence we will be paying grade linked prices,” he said.
According to Manamike, Grade A of cotton would fetch 55 cents, Grade B 50 cents, Grade C 45 cents and Grade D 40 cents.
He said after grading, they will pay grade related price adjustments of 15 cents for A, 10 cents for B and 5 cents for C.
Cottco had set up 433 cotton buying points across the country, Manamike said.
The Zimbabwe government has re-established itself as a major player in cotton production, at one time Zimbabwe’s top agricultural export, through its recent takeover of Cottco.
Production of cotton had significantly declined in recent years owing to high cost of production and unending fights over pricing between farmers and merchants.
During the 2016/17 cropping season, government provided growers with free cotton inputs worth 36 million dollars to boost production of the crop. Enditem