ZIMBABWE: Future of Zimbabwe's cotton industry under threa

A shortage of seedcotton looms in Zimbabwe, as foreign buyers have asserted themselves in the cotton industry and are buying the multiplication seed for export, Xinhua has learnt.

A source in the cotton industry told Xinhua in an interview on Thursday that side-marketing of seedcotton to avoid offsetting debts with ginners who would have financed their crops is seriously threatening the future of cotton growing in the country.

"Third parties, who in the first place never assisted growers with inputs, are buying the seed despite a statutory instrument which clearly states that only registered ginners who supported growers with inputs will be authorized to buy the harvested crop from the growers they financed," the source said.

Despite their contractual obligations, growers have literally discarded their financiers in favor of the high-paying third parties.

In response the Cotton Ginners Association, representing the financiers, is flighting advertisements warning farmers against side marketing, adding that it is illegal and may result in the farmers failing to acquire certified seed varieties in the future.

The association has also taken at least one company to court seeking to bar it from buying seedcotton from the contracted farmers.

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Added: August 6, 2010 Source: LONELY PLANET
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