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Gokwe cotton production dwindling

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Gokwe cotton production dwindling



GOKWE – Cotton production is continuously dwindling in Gokwe due to late farmer payments and abuse of inputs among other factors, the Gokwe Town masterplan report has stated.
The report presented by lead master planner Tatenda Chiteka at Gokwe Community Hall recently argues that the decline in the cotton industry has affected the town’s industry performance.
“Due to falling cotton prices, the industry’s decline has impacted Gokwe Town heavily, the downstream economy that was supported by the cotton industry was exposed and struggling with some companies already closed.
“This has also affected the town’s revenue collection because a good number of residents had their income from cotton so they can no longer pay rates as they used to,” said Chiteka.
Cotton production is the mainstay of Gokwe’s industry and decline in cotton production has been experienced since 2020
“In 2020, the Cottco depot in Gokwe bought 23,512 tonnes of cotton, and since then, the yield has been declining to the point that in 2023, they only bought 14,579 tonnes of cotton from local growers.
“The average price for cotton for the past 12 years has been $0.30 per kilogram and in 2020, farmers were paid US$ 7,053,600, and in 2023, they were paid US$ 4,373,700. While cotton farming has been affected by bad weather, some structural issues are late payment of farmers and abuse of cotton inputs whereby some beneficiaries of cotton input schemes have been selling inputs to get quick income instead of growing the crop,” said Chiteka.

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