Cotton production poised to transform Gokwe into third largest city
Gokwe farming community is set to benefit from an ambitious project set up by Midlands Provincial Development Strategy, with its main thrust in empowering more than 400 000 cotton farmers in Gokwe District. This will result in increased cotton production and thereby turning the cotton district into a new provincial economic capital. With the increased rains that pounded the district during 2020 – 21 season, a bumper cotton harvest is expected this year.
Most cotton farmers in Gokwe fall under Presidential Cotton Input Scheme, under Cotton Company of Zimbabwe which saw farmers receiving most inputs on time with private companies bank rolling farmers.
“Gokwe will be turned into a third largest city in Zimbabwe owing to its cotton growing potential. Gokwe accounts for the bulk of cotton grown in the country.. So you can see the potential it has, with 52 percent of cotton grown in the country coming from the area. We need to put our heads together and turn Gokwe into a textile and clothing hub, transforming it into the third largest city in Zimbabwe, following after Harare and Bulawayo “, said Larry Mavhima Midlands Provincial Affairs and Revolution Minister recently.
Minister Mavhima under the Provincial Development Strategy, cotton farmers in the Province will be assisted through contract farming with incentives to produce more for domestic value addition and exports.
“We already have the Presidential Cotton Input Scheme and all we need is to put our heads together as a province and make sure the cotton industry get the support they deserve for it to realise its intended growth. We need to come up with incentives for our farmers in order to increase cotton production, we need our cotton farmers to take cotton farming as a business”, said Mavhima.
For the most of past years cotton production has dwindled in Gokwe and parts of the country as cotton prices had fallen, also this compounded by negative rainfall deviations from the long term and positive temperature deviations dominated the climate trend results. Cotton production levels declined as precipitation decreased and temperatures increased across the district. Farmers in Gokwe need to adapt to climatic changes that influence cotton production and there is need to invest in climate adaptation strategies including policies on irrigation and early warning systems in order to help farmers to cope better and to reduce their vulnerability to climate ch