Common name         Cotton

Scientific name        Gossypium

Family name          Mallow

Shona          Donje   

Ndebele          Utshinda

The cotton plant is of the genus Gossypium and is a perennial shrub. Being in the same family as okra and hibiscus (Malvaceae), cotton is grown as an annual crop in many countries of the tropical and subtropical regions of the world-to which it is native. There are different species of Cotton – Gossypium hirsutum, Gossypium barbadense, Gossypium herbaceum and Gossypium arboreum, the first two species being the most commonly cultivated.

The cotton plant has a deep taproot, which can go as deep as 1.5m, while the plant itself grows to anything between 1.2 and 2.5m-it is drought-tolerant but requires a regular adequate moisture supply to produce profitable yields.

The local cotton industry has experienced a dip in fortunes and there is therefore an urgent need for us to adopt technologies and knowhow to turn around the fortunes of many of our smallholder farmers in areas such as Gokwe, Hurungwe, Karoi, Muzarabani, Dande and the lowveld-through the introduction of mechanisation from land preparation right through to harvesting, use of genetically prepared varieties which facilitate a reduction in the growing of dangerous chemicals and the growing of coloured cotton varieties with more lucrative markets. These will reduce and eventually eliminate the use of artificial dyes in the clothing industry, saving on many fronts, which include water consumption in the clothing industry.

The iQFarmer Cotton Manual will introduce you to the value chain of cotton farming, covering:

  1. Varieties and Types
  2. Planting Materials
  3. Land Preparation and Planting
  4. Production Management: weed control, fertilisation, irrigation
  5. Disease and Pest Control
  6. Physiological Disorders
  7. Harvesting and Handling
  8. Value Addition
  9. Climate-Smart Agricultural Practices (CSAP)
  10. Cotton Economics and Entrepreneurship


You will also find a program on cotton production which we hope will help you to select the most cost-effective solutions and profitable combinations in setting up a profitable agricultural enterprise.

Download Grower’s Manual


Download Cropping Program