Home » Business » Firmer Prices Spur Cotton Deliveries

Cotton farmers who have been withholding their crop in protest of low prices have started selling after buyers increased the price from between 30 cents and 35 cents per kilogramme to a minimum of 60 cents per kilogramme. Farmers said they hoped that the prices would continue to firm and surpass last season’s highest price of 66 cents per kilogramme.

Bindura farmer Mr Batsirayi Musanhi said he had been withholding his crop in anticipation of higher prices and had since started delivering to the collection points after the increase.

“We have been offered 60 cents and we have started delivering the cotton,” he said.

“We hope buyers will continue to increase the price so that we are able to settle our debts and remain with a profit,” he said.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Mr Wonder Chabikwa commended the move by buyers to increase the price of cotton as this would enable growers to break even.

He, however, expressed concern that there were still cases where farmers were getting low prices, saying the cost of production for cotton was 52 cents per kilogramme.

“Farmers with the capacity to negotiate are getting reasonable offers for their crop,” said Mr Chabikwa.

“Some farmers cannot negotiate with buyers and will, therefore, get low prices.”

Mr Chabikwa said the situation would have been better for farmers if representative organisations had been allowed to negotiate prices on behalf of their members.

“This season is now gone and farmers have to deal with buyers as individuals,” he said.

“The Competition and Tariff Commission prohibited collective bargaining of produce prices between ginners and farmers’ unions.

“The cotton sector never used to have problems when we had the Cotton Marketing Board.

“CMB would work the cost of production, put a mark-up and, together with farmers and the Minister of Agriculture, would come up with viable prices.”

Chairperson of all farmers’ unions, Mr Garikayi Msika encouraged buyers to offer viable prices.

“We do not promote side marketing,” he said. “Buyers should offer high prices so that they get their sponsored crop.”

Source : The Herald

Archives