Cotton farmers in the Lowveld have called upon responsible authorities to ensure availability of new high-yielding seed varieties that suit current climatic conditions so as to boost national output.
Climate change is real as it continues to affect agricultural production including cotton farming where a number of farmers in the Lowveld are likely to register loses due to poor rains.
It is against this background that cotton farmers in Chiredzi have called upon responsible authorities to ensure availability of new high yielding cotton seed varieties that are pest-resistant and suit current climatic conditions to enhance the country’s competitiveness and improve farmers’ livelihoods.
The call was made at a field day held at Mr Musakuro’s homestead in Nyangambe area in Chiredzi north where farmers were exchanging notes on sustainable methods of producing cotton.
Cotton Company of Zimbabwe Chiredzi manager Mr Shepherd Hungwe encouraged farmers to continue supporting government programmes for increased national output by putting to good use the Presidential Free Cotton Inputs Scheme.
“As farmers with the support we are getting from the government through the Presidential Free Cotton Inputs Scheme, it is important that we work hard, put those inputs to good use and have a better yield so as to improve our livelihoods and become self reliant,” he said.
Zimbabwe used to be among the best producers of cotton in the region at its peak, earning the country over US$200 million, but the output fell drastically between 2012 and 2015.
Following the introduction of the Presidential Free Cotton Inputs Scheme three years ago, cotton output has increased with high hopes of reviving the once thriving textile industry.