Cottco moves to clear outstanding debt


STATE-RUN Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) has paid US$19,6 million to farmers to date, out of the US$23,6 million it owes, NewsDay Business has learnt.

In a weekly update the company said it had settled ZWL$7,1 billion out of the ZWL$28,8 billion local currency debt.

The Zimdollar payments will be made at the prevailing bank rate.

The company’s latest update shows that farmers in Muzarabani, Chinhoyi, Chiredzi, Kadoma, Gokwe and Sanyati have received inputs, which consist of seed, fertiliser and herbicides for the current planting season.

At least 3 389 tonnes out of 4 537 of seed has been disbursed to farmers. In terms of compound L fertiliser, 16 411 tonnes out of 21 301 have been disbursed.

According to Cottco, 112 350 hectares have been established to date. Chemical movement is underway in most areas.

Cotton is one of the country’s major agricultural export commodities and is largely grown by smallholder farmers.

Due to several factors, including drought, climate change, low prices, out-of-date varieties, and payment delays, Zimbabwe’s cotton output has been declining.

Zimbabwe’s cotton production, however, increased by 67% to 89,6 million kilogrammes during the 2022/23 farming season, statistics from the Agricultural Marketing Authority show.

The nation produced 137 702 tonnes in 2021, up from 91 712 the year before.

The production of cotton began to decline in 2013. Before 2013, production was between 200 000 and 350 000 tonnes.

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