Wednesday, February 13, 2013

(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) Cotton farmers want back pays

Cotton farmers want back pays
Saturday, 09 February 2013 18:31
Faith Mhandu

The continued firming of cotton prices on the international market should see cotton merchants who need to regain the confidence of producers considering offering back pays, farmer organisations have said.

The price of the “white gold” has been firming over the past few weeks with a kilogram now selling for US$0,83, up from US$0,70, and local farmer organisations believe the upward movement gives cotton merchants a chance to reach out to farmers ahead of this year’s selling season.

The 2012 cotton marketing season was marred by price disputes with farmers accusing the merchants of ripping them off as prices ranged between US$0,27 and US$0,35 per kg. But with prices likely to continue firming due to increased demand in Asia, farmers insist merchants should show they are ready to do business this year by being sincere and offering producers back pays.
Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union vice-president Mr Barean Mukwende said such a move would restore farmers’ confidence.

“If cotton prices continue to increase, we urge merchants to consider it as an opportunity to rebuild farmer confidence. If we try to advocate for back pays now, most merchants would argue that they sold before prices increased,” he said.

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