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Farmers’ unions and ginners have agreed on an interim price of $0,30 per kilogramme for cotton this season, with merchants expected to pay growers an adjustment after grading the crop.

This follows a review by the Competition and Tariff Commission to allow unions to negotiate producer prices on behalf of farmers.

The CTC last year prohibited collective bargaining of producer prices between ginners and farmers’ unions.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Mr Wonder Chabikwa confirmed that the CTC had allowed farmers’ representatives to negotiate for prices on behalf of their members.

“This season we agreed on an interim price since the crop will be bought at buying points where there are no grading facilities. The cotton will later be graded at the ginneries and farmers will be paid an adjustment.

“We have agreed on $0,30 per kilogramme and we hope we will get a fair price at the end of the season,” he said.

Mr Chabikwa said the cotton will be graded under the supervision of officials from the Agricultural Marketing Authority.

He said he expected ginners to pay better prices since last season the cotton price went as high as $0.60 per kilogramme.

“We are not comfortable with the arrangement, but we believe AMA will monitor the grading system and ensure transparency. We will intervene if farmers are not satisfied with the prices and marketing of the crop,” he said.

Mr Chabikwa said the situation could be better if farmers could grade their crop and sell according to the grades.

Source : The Herald