Zimbabwe is likely to miss its cotton production target of 250 million kg set for the ongoing selling season, which is expected to close by the end of August.
For the current season, Agritex and farmers’ unions had set Zimbabwe’s cotton production target at 250 million kg, while ginners had projected the output to touch 300 million kg based on seed sales.
However, according to the data with the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA), only about 123 million kg of cotton was sold by farmers until August 2, 2013, The Herald reported.
The AMA said buyers were offering US 45 cents to US 58 cents per kg of cotton to farmers, compared to last season’s around US 30 cents per kg.
The lower prices offered to farmers last season, contributed to decline in production this season, Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union second vice president Berean Mukwende said.
Owing to lower prices offered last season, several farmers switched to growing tobacco or reduced their area under cotton during the current season, he added.
Late planting of seeds, and rains going away early before the crop gets fully developed, were also cited as reasons for decline in cotton production.
Meanwhile, Cotton Council spokesman Garikayi Msika said, farmers who rely on water conservation methods were able to get high yields.
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