Zimbabwe and Brazil have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the up-scaling of cotton production in Zimbabwe.
The MoU will see Zimbabwe receive Brazilian expertise on cotton production and the project will kick off in January 2020.
Speaking at the signing ceremony yesterday, Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador James Manzou said it was Zimbabwe's desire to learn from Brazil.
"On behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe, l would like to express gratitude for the assistance that has been extended to Zimbabwe by the Government of Brazil through the Brazilian Cooperation Agency. Zimbabwe values the excellent relations that exist between our two countries especially cooperation in exchange of technical expertise and technology in the agricultural sector.
"The Government of Zimbabwe is truly honoured and appreciates Brazil's continued assistance. This project is coming soon after another gesture that was extended following the signing of the livestock and development project on 1 November 2019," said Ambassador Manzou.
Brazil had shown it understood that agriculture was the mainstay of the Zimbabwean economy which needed diversification to create more opportunities for value addition.
"The validation mission on cotton production is critical to the country's economic growth. This cooperation will go a long way in enhancing efforts to improve livelihoods, strengthen the economy and realize Zimbabwe's Vision 2030."
Brazilian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mrs Anna Maria Pinto Morales said the agreement was meant to offer Brazil's expertise to Zimbabwean in cotton production and institutions involved in cotton production.
"We want to renovate and develop the production of cotton up to the industry and manufacturing. The idea is to help Zimbabwe to recover the textile industry.
"We will provide capacity building. Brazil is a provider of technical cooperation and technology. There are many actions already and some actions to be developed. It needs some time and we are discussing the time frame," she said .
As a result of inadequate levels of inputs and agronomic support by cotton merchants -- which led to low yields, high side-marketing and poor debt recovery in the past few years -- the cotton industry almost collapsed.