Cotton worries


The recent increase in the producer price of cotton coupled with the fact that the Cotton Marketing Board itself has become one of the first agricultural parastatals to operate at a profit should be encouraging news to all farmers though this will obviously be dampened by the uncertain future due to the current drought.

Seed cotton deliveries are expected to fall to about 99 0 tonnes, less than half of last year’s harvest which in itself was considered poor.

Although 60 percent of the crop is now produced by communal farmers this dropped to 55 percent last year and this, experts say, indicates that even communal farmers had begun to lose interest in the crop because of the poor producer price.

Cotton production has steadily been on the increase until 1989 when it began to decline drastically. Previous projections indicated that Zimbabwe should have been producing more than 425 00 tonnes (almost five times what it actually produced) now.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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