The production of cotton is this season expected to increase as the number of growers has gone up by 50 percent, a development that has been attributed to the Presidential Cotton Free Inputs.

The launch of the Presidential Cotton Free Inputs Scheme four years ago has impacted positively on the production of the cash crop which had nosedived over years owing to poor pricing.

From 10 000 tonnes in 2016, production of the white gold recorded a jump to 72 000 tonnes in 2017.

In 2018, production of cotton doubled to about 140 000 tonnes, thanks to the Presidential Free Inputs Scheme.

“The presidential scheme is the game changer as far as cotton production is concerned, the figures speak for themselves, from 10 000 tonnes to 140 000 in two years, this year more farmers have joined the programme.

“This means more export, employment creation and villagers can now pay school fees, but house accessories, the benefits are plenty,” says Zimbabwe Cotton Marketers Association Chairperson.

Latest statistics show that over 400 000 farmers have registered and received inputs under the Presidential Cotton Free Inputs Scheme as compared to about 300 000 who benefited last year.

Agri-experts say the predicted normal to below normal rainfall provides favourable conditions for the white gold to produce good quality yields and output is poised to increase from 140 000 this year to 200 000 this season.

The positive trend in cotton production, which has raked in US$80 million in foreign currency last year, is expected to generate more forex this year.