Cottco pays farmers $3,1bn for 2021 marketing season

Capitalk Repoter |  1 year ago | local

Cottco has so far paid farmers $3,1 billion for this year's deliveries with the additional subsidy payments now starting to go out. While most farmers have been paid in full for last year's crop, the company still needs cotton growers who are yet to receive what they were owed from last year to submit their details.

Farmers have been complaining over delays in payments, particularly what they delivered last year, with others threatening to quit cotton production for other crops.

Cottco managing director Mr Pious Manamike yesterday confirmed that most of the farmers had received all what they were owed from last year while those who delivered their cotton this season have already received the first payment of $34 a kilogramme, including the US$IO for each 200kg bale, and arrangements are now in progress for the additional $22 a kg subsidy to be paid from this week in tranches.

He said most farmers had received their payments for last year except for a few who had not submitted their up-to-date details, with Cottco finding that some bank accounts or mobile money accounts were no longer functioning.

These missing payments totalled just $316million, but $104 million can now be paid to those farmers who heeded the latest call to update account details.

"We encourage farmers owed the remaining $212million to approach the nearest Cottco depot and provide payment details so that transfers can be made.

"Cottco has also requested the cotton farmers associations to advise their members accordingly," he said.

On the 2021 payments and subsidy, Mr Manamike said the first batch of payment was made up of payments of $34 per kilogramme including US$10 per 200 kg bale.

He said these payments exceed the regional average of US25cents per kg.

Cottco has to date released $3.1billion towards these payments. The second batch is a subsidy incentive for cotton farmers of $22 per kg. Payments have commenced this week and additional tranches are expected to be released on a weekly basis, he said.

Mr Manamike said farmers with Grade A or B seed cotton will be paid a top up in the form of a grade adjustment.

He said payments for the 2021 season of $3.1billion had improved livelihoods of most farmers who reside in drier regions where Cottco operates.

"We appreciate cotton farmers for their hard work and patience which has seen cotton output grow from 82 400 tonnes in 2020 to 115 000 tonnes in 2021 with the support of Government.