Cotton sector chaos exposed
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement’s public hearing on the funding models and challenges in the cotton sector ended prematurely on Tuesday after the majority of players in the industry failed to present required documentation to the committee.
The white gold used to be one of the country’s leading foreign currency earners, providing small scale growers with a decent living. But not anymore.
The grim reality of the waning fortunes was laid bare in Parliament this Tuesday as the committee came face to face with the literal meaning of the phrase: ‘the rot starts from the head.’
The committee was worried about reports that players in the cotton industry were abusing the Presidential Cotton Free Inputs Scheme and ripping off farmers, hence the committee demanded that the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) brings proof of procurement to the hearing but Acting CEO, Nancy Zitsanza brought none.
Then came similar tales from the players themselves.
In the end, committee Chairperson, Justice Mayor Wadyajena said they should come back more organized.
For all their fine grooming, confident postures, and fancy vehicles, one thing is certain there seems to be a lot of rot in the cotton sector.