The Sunday News
Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
THE Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) is set to receive 20 tractors from the Government for the Presidential cotton inputs and tillage scheme which is meant to help cotton farmers prepare their land in line with smart agriculture practices.
The Government introduced the tillage programme last year with farmers also receiving inputs including seed and fertilisers. Already, the programme has 25 tractors and the new fleet is set to complement the already existing fleet and assist farmers in their quest to boost their yield.
Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister, Dr Anxious Masuka broke the news during his tour of Gokwe last week.
“As Government, we are going to give Cottco 20 more tractors for the tillage programme so that they assist in the tillage of the farmers’ land. We have already seen what the programme can do given the increase in yield since we launched the programme last year,” said Dr Masuka.
He said the results of the scheme had already yielded good results.
“The Presidential cotton inputs scheme was a huge success as it resulted in 28 000 tonnes of cotton last year. This year we are expecting 195 000 tonnes,” said Dr Masuka.
Cottco managing director Mr Pius Manamike said the tractors will go a long way in assisting farmers.
“I am happy to hear from the minister that the Government has promised to give us 20 more tractors to augment the fleet of 25 that we already have. This will go a long way to assist us and farmers and improve our yield,” said Mr Manamike.
He said the programme targets mainly farmers who lost draught power.
“As you are aware, some farmers lost draught power and we are targeting those. But we are not only limited to those as we can assist any farmer who needs the assistance,” said Mr Manamike.