Paràmouñt Garments and Archer Group Finance Director Jeremy Youmans has called on Government to reward output and not input in farming whilst calling for a partial ban or restrictions of exporting cotton lint in an otherwise multi stakeholder approach to the clothing industry by strengthening the cotton to clothing value chain in order to propel the sector to it’s greatest heights.
Speaking exclusively live on TechMagTV, Mr Youmans said the clothing industry remains strategic to Zimbabwe’s Economy because it has the potential to create jobs and improve the Economic value of cotton.
Youmans singled out India who did the unthinkable and banned the export of Lint, which saw India rise,
“India they actually turned around in one year in 2015 and banned the import of cotton lint,” said Youmans.
“Or we just Focus on levies of some sort until a time when we have resources like India .”
Clothing is often used as a tool to help build an Economy and help in industrialisation because it does not require a lot of capital.
Youmans said, “We have got to have the confidence to see through a plan and see through it”
Asked on Cottco’s monopoly in the cotton to clothing strategy, Youmans said
“Cottco as long as I remember anyway has been the largest cotton buyer effectively now it has a cotton monopoly not a perfect monopoly and mainly because of the presidential input scheme.”
He added, “As ACVAZ (Association of Cotton value adders of Zimbabwe) I believe that is not the best way to support a crop, to support it through inputs it’s a very generous amount that the government gives us into the chain and the injection it’s like there is a grant every year.its an inefficient way of doing it and our belief the far more efficient way will be to pay the input scheme on output.And always pay bonuses to the farmers that reward for higher quality and support them that way cotton rather than through an input that’s impossible to control.”
Youmans said Government need to stop spoon feeding farmers with seed and rather reward the results of every farmer.
He even quizzed, “If a farmer grows cotton or maize how do u even know that the fertilizer went to the cotton or the maize,”
“”And yet you say I cldnt get the yields here that I got on my maize..”buy If they were incentivized to grow great quality cotton.Zimbabwean cotton used to get a 6% top up on the international market for premium and we have lost that.We can’t get that by simply growing.But to do that the farmers must get full reward for results and ouyput not input.”
Youmans spoke on the need to get back to the Zimbabwe farmer of yesteryear, “Zimbabwe used to have the highest cotton in the world And we have lost it , We cnt get it back just by simply growing it..”
“But to do that the farmers have to have the full inputs.Now If there is an inefficient way of distributing the inputs and they don’t all get to the farmer or when the farmer gets them he can be enticed to use them on another crop or to sell them.You have got a problem because you will never get the benefits fully realized.So we will rather get to see that same amount donated..”
“Which is a great support for our whole value chain.But awarding those farmers who Produce more, and rewarding higher quality rather than giving them inputs way before the season.So cottcos role can be exactly the same.Its just a different stage that the intervention comes.They will still be the ones to supply the inputs.Traditional model and the presidential model.And that’s something an agenda we still wish to drive.It is a contentious issue and when somebody is giving you something for free.That should dictate how it should be given.So we are going to have some serious discussions with Government we have started them and should continue.We think there is a far more efficient way of extracting value into the chain.”