The Zimbabwe government recently released its vision for the country’s cotton industry that aims to accelerate growth in the sector besides enhancing sustainability. In context of the recently launched Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy, the vision emphasizes on climate proofing the cotton presidential input scheme to insulate the sector from the devastating effects of climate change.
Anxious Masuka, Minster for Land, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement says, the industry should invent new ways to shield cotton crops from the vagaries of weather. The dominance of Cottco should be reduced and there should be an enhanced capacitation of farmers through irrigation development, tractor and implement and equipment provision through lease, rentals and outright purchase by farmers. Merchants should provide robust extension support systems and decentralize inputs collection and buying points for easy accessibility.
Involvement of farmers in cotton value addition and beneficiation should be increased so that they can get a share of by product, says Masuka. According to him, cotton production remains a key source of livelihood for many families and growing the sector will help the country achieve upper middle income status by 2030.