Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) has extended the 2021/22 cotton marketing season to cater for the crop affected by delayed rains.
In a statement, AMA chief executive officer, Clever Isaya urged farmers to take advantage of the extension to deliver their crops.
“Farmers are advised to take advantage of this extension to make mop-up deliveries of their crop as no extensions will be made beyond these dates, normal cotton marketing season usually closes around mid-August, where farmers are required to destroy stalks by mid-September to prevent disease carry-over into next season,” he said.
Isaya noted that the country has recently been receiving low rainfall due to prolonged droughts with cotton farmers expected to benefit from the crop’s resilience to droughts and climate change-induced harsh weather conditions.
“The country is expecting low seed cotton volumes compared to the past season, as a result of the late start of the cotton growing season also this season, farmers were also affected by low temperatures that resulted in cotton balls failing to fully develop.
“But agricultural players projected that there would be an increase in cotton production in the forthcoming 2022/23 cropping season, which starts during the fourth quarter of the year,” he said.
According to the Lands ministry’s state of preparedness for the 2022/23 production and summer season buying prices report, the Presidential Cotton Scheme will focus on increasing the area under hybrid cotton seed and ensuring the 100 percent adoption of Pfumvudza, a scheme that has been helping farmers with inputs in a variety of crops.
This year’s target was to put 400 000 hectares of land under Pfumvudza cotton and this scheme will see 520 000 farmers benefiting, according to the report.