The Cotton Company has approved a $20 billion input scheme that could benefit 15 000 cotton farmers in the coming season. The company says with good rains expected this season, cotton production could increase to 350 000 tonnes.
Last season 230 000 tonnes were produced. The company had threatened to withdraw the input scheme after some farmers who were contracted to the company and were provided with inputs sold their cotton crop to competitors.
Though it is still by far the largest buyer of cotton, Cottco is facing competition from American giant Cargill and new entrant, Blair. This year the smaller buyers had an edge over Cottco when they decided to pay farmers cash which was hard to come by.