THE revival of Kadoma Cottco Ginnery’s delinter plant, which is scheduled for commissioning next week, is expected to create employment and breathe life to the gold rich town. The plant separates cotton seed from lint, and its revival has reached 90 percent, with the company’s technical team expected to do a test run this week. About US$800 000 has been used towards the revival of the plant, which stopped operating over five years ago, forcing the Government to outsource cotton seed from private companies.
Speaking during a visit to the plant last Friday, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister, Dr. Anxious Masuka, said the plant was going to support the Government’s Pfumvudza Cotton Support Input Scheme that begins this year. Cottco targets to sponsor at least 500 000 farmers through the scheme to boost cotton output this coming season. “Apart from ascertaining their ginning process, the other reason for this visit was to look at the delint machine,” said Dr. Masuka.
“That seed machine was not operational for five years and we have been purchasing seed elsewhere, yet we have the in-house capacity to be able to do this ourselves. “Their technical team has completed the superb work and the machine awaits commissioning so that they can start producing their own seed.”
The revamping of the 15 000 tonne capacity plant, said Dr. Masuka, will help Cottco and the Government to plan for the cropping season in time.
“This is seed produced in Zimbabwe and additionally, we must look at higher yield producing seed, the reason why we are importing Mahyco hybrid from India,” said Dr Masuka. “For our own seeds, we want to do sustainable intensification for the first time by introducing Pfumvudza Cotton in the 2021/22 season.”
The plant has been down for five years owing to low operational viabilities and challenges to the extent that the Government has stepped in to support it with a target of increasing its shareholding capacity to 51 percent.
Kadoma Ginnery has so far reached 85 percent of their targeted collection of 8 000 tonnes. Dr. Masuka revealed that the Government was moving to set up mini ginneries across the country. Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Mashonaland West, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, said the renewal of the plant speaks to the National Development Strategy 1 and Vision 2030 of an upper-middle-income economy, as it will create jobs and increase the provinces and national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“NDS1 is speaking about not leaving anyone or any place behind with over 100 people expected to be employed directly,” she said. “Cottco is also going to process the seed. The mini ginneries are also going to help people at the grassroots level and minimise transport costs.”