Case Study: The Zimbabwe Cotton Marketing Board
Blackie, Malcolm J.
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While cotton is indigenous to Zimbabwe, it was not grown as a commercial crop prior to the twentieth century. In l9l9 cotton seeds were distributed to large- scale farmers in Zimbabwe and the Empire Cotton Growing Corporation offered substantial prizes to encourage, cotton production. In the subsequent.few years, significant acreages of cotton were grown. (Muir, 1981a). In 1924 the Cotton Breeding Station was established at Kadoma. World cotton prices rose rapidly in the mid-1920’s and variety testing at the Cotton Breeding Station indicated that the American variety Bancroft was suitable for local conditions. A minor boom in Zimbabwean "cotton production followed with good yields and high "prices. The boom however, was short-lived as a rapid build-up of jassids (sucking insects which affect both yield and quality) devastated the crop. The area planted to cotton 'rose from 55hectares, in 1922 to 25 000 hectares, in 1927 Jassid attack reduced plantings to 340 hectares in 1928 (Muir 1981a).