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August 22, 2011

Zimbabwe cotton area up but per hectare yields down

...cotton is grown by at least 300 000 households in Zimbabwe country and represents cash income to about three or four million people, about 25% of the rural population.

The largest crop ever produced was 353 000 metric tonnes in 2000, the equivalent of 50% of ginning capacity. Cotton currently contributes more than 70% of raw materials for locally expressed oil and 100% of locally spun cotton and cotton blend yarns.

In 2011, the area under the cotton crop production increased from 338 270 hectares to 379 689 hectares.

Average yield per hectare, however, declined from 0,7 tonnes per hectare in 2010 to 0,58 tonnes per hectare in 2011, translating into a lower output of 220 219 tonnes.

Farmers have constantly bemoaned poor cotton based extension services, market information asymmetry and inadequate credit.

Business Week

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