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(Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe's cotton output in the 2018 marketing season rose by 76 percent year-on-year to 130,000 tonnes, from 70,000 tonnes last year, owing to increased government support to farmers, according to a local online publication.The output is the highest in nearly five years, Farmers Voice said in its latest edition published Tuesday.

 

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe expects the country to get around 85 million U.S. dollars in foreign exchange through cotton exports this year.

"Owing to steep increase in production, cotton exports are expected to jump," the publication said.

 

Under a "Presidential Inputs Scheme," the government launched various free support initiatives to help farmers increase cotton production.

 

In 2011, Zimbabwe produced 268,000 tonnes of cotton, which fell to 135,000 tonnes in 2013-14 and further to 100,000 tonnes in 2014-15.

 

In 2016, cotton yield was just 28,000 tonnes, the lowest since 1992.

 

Due to government efforts, production increased to 70,000 tonnes in 2017.

 

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