Zimbabwe’s , Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister, Dr Joseph Made, said on Tuesday that cotton growers in the country will benefit from the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme this year, with each household receiving inputs for a quarter of a hectare.
According to Dr Made, the move was taken to boost cotton production as it was a critical crop, especially in areas where there were no other viable crops.
“Each farmer will receive inputs for a quarter of a hectare, because we want to emphasise on high productivity per unity area. Cotton requires a lot of attention and management. The package will be administered through the Grain Marketing Board as well as other related institutions. We want to ensure farmers plant early,” he said.
Dr Made further stated that the inputs would be moved to the farming areas for farmers to collect them nearer to where they lived.
“The farmers will not only be restricted to the Government programme. They are free to be contracted. However, in the event that the farmer fails to settle his/her loan, the companies will not be allowed to recover from the Government sponsored crop,” he pointed out.
“We have instructed Agritex officers to ensure that the beneficiaries have cleared crop residues to promote good husbandry practices,” he added, after noting that cotton production had been affected by the practice of leaving cotton stalks in the field.