Local farmers urged to consider Indonesian market


The Herald, Tuesday

Local cotton farmers have been urged to consider the Indonesia as a potential market for their crop after the Asian country indicated an interest in the local crop.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made said Indonesia’s interest in the local crop comes at a time when there is an anticipated massive shortage of cotton on the international market, a situation that has pushed the price of the white gold up.

Minister Made said this after meeting the Indonesian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Eddy Poerwana, in Harare yesterday.

“Those farmers who are producing cotton using their own resources and are not bonded or contracted to anyone should proceed to take advantage of this opportunity and deal with the Indonesian buyers.

“Farmers who are still planting should also go ahead as the season promises to be good,” he said.

International cotton prices recently reached US$1,70 per kilogramme, a price most farmers believe will allow them to break even.

Mr Poerwana’s visit to the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development offices comes after Minister Made’s visit to Indonesia last year. The two countries’ agriculture ministries agreed, in Indonesia last year, on a proposal to sign a Memorandum of Understanding in various areas of co-operation in their sectors.

“The MoU will be signed early March this year and already activities have started taking place with Indonesia inviting a team from our ministry for an exhibition in Jarkata in March.

will also cover co-operation in issues of research, equipment development and the transfer of technology from the Asian country to allow our farmers to start value addition of both animal and crop products and avoid selling as raw products that fetch low prices,” explained Minister Made.

Indonesia has been closely following the developments in Zimbabwean economy and was looking at ways of co-operation especially in the agricultural sector.

“We want to broaden and deepen the relations currently existing between the two countries,” said Mr Poerwana.