Police go after farmers side marketing cotton produced under Presidential Scheme

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By Tapiwa Svondo 

The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (COTTCO) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) have joined forces to combat the side-marketing of cotton produced under the government’s Presidential Inputs Scheme (PIS).

In a joint statement, the police said it will take legal action against any farmers or buyers found engaging in “side-marketing” activities that undermine the official cotton marketing system.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police will ensure that the law takes its course on anyone found to be side-marketing seed cotton produced through the Presidential Input Scheme (PIS).

“In this regard, any buyer who will try to influence farmers to engage in side marketing activities will also be brought to book”, read the statement.

“This season, Cottco is making immediate payments for seed cotton delivered at common buying points. Farmers are strongly encouraged to secure their funds and minimize the risks of robberies as well as the potential loss of funds”.

Beneficiaries of the PIS inputs are supposed to deliver the seed cotton at Cottco as the official taker.

“Farmers who benefitted from this programme are requested to deliver their produce to Cottco and shun side marketing. Cottco is the official off-taker of all the seed cotton produced under (PIS).

“Under the Presidential Inputs Scheme, farmers receive inputs such as seeds, chemicals, fertilisers, tillage and agronomy support at no cost. In return, they are expected to establish, maintain and deliver seed cotton to Cottco when marketing commenced”.