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July 31, 2011

Zimbabwe sees 15% drop in cotton output

by Faith Mhandu

Smallholder farmers in the drier parts of Zimbabwe have been urged to prioritize cotton production as it is the agricultural sector’s second highest foreign currency earner.

Speaking at a national graduation ceremony for farmers at the Cotton Training Centre (CTC) in Rutenga recently...said... “The current 2010/11 season estimated cotton production of 220 219 metric tonnes reflects a minus 15 percent change from the 2009/10 season.

“This decline has been attributed to the excessive dry spell that most parts of the country experienced during the season and the low prices that were offered in the last season”

During the 2010/11 production season, the centre presented certificates to 5 810 farmers out of the 6 114 who took a nine months field-based training programme..

The director of the centre, Mr Afios Mseva, said their main objective this year was to emphasise on agricultural development throughout the country by transforming the farmer although funding was restricting them to two provinces only.

“...small- holder farmers account for 99 percent of the cotton produced in the country...”

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