AGRICULTURE concern, Southern Cotton will next year construct a $5 million ginnery in Chiredzi as the company continues to spread its operations in the country, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Caos Nzenze has said.
The company has set aside $30 million to contract cotton growers in the 2018/19 season. The investment will be spread over 80 000 hectares in various cotton growing areas in the country.
Some of the new areas the company is targeting in the coming season include Chiredzi, Zaka, Rutenga, Middle Sabi, Gokwe South, Nembudziya, Mutoko, Centenary, Sanyati and Murewa.
Nzenze said the ginnery will be ready for the 2019 harvest.
“We will be setting up a ginnery in Chiredzi with an installed value of $5 million,” he said.
“The ginnery has the capacity to gin 25 000 metric tons of seed cotton per season”
He said the company was set to invest more in the cotton value chain.
“We are very serious about cotton because there is a lot of potential to grow the cotton sector in the country,” Nzenze said.
Cotton is largely grown in the drier parts of the country as the crop is drought resistant. The crop is a source of livelihood for over 250 000 thousand household in the country and the number is set to increase as more companies are venturing in cotton contract farming as well as the inclusion of cotton under the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme.
Latest statistics released by the Agriculture Marketing Authority (AMA) show that total output for 2018 cotton marketing season stood at 142 761 141 kilograms as at 26 October 2018, compared to 73 141 231 kilograms achieved same period last year, a 95 percent increase.
Zimbabwe currently has six registered ginning firms with various ginneries dotted around the country. These are the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco), Southern Cotton, Alliance Ginneries, Zimbabwe Cotton Consortium, China Africa Cotton and Shawashaagri (Pvt) Ltd.
Southern Cotton is an indigenous company incorporated in 2010.