HomeHeadlinesCottco mulls micro-ginners

Cottco mulls micro-ginners

ZIMBABWE’S largest cotton processor, Cottco is mulling introducing micro-ginneries as part of its strategic remodeling expected to see the company investing in oil production and fabric weaving technology.

This comes after agriculture economist Mandivamba Rukuni last week told this publication that Cottco’s current model needed a re-look, including setting up micro-ginneries and toll processing cotton to give farmers more value.

Cottco chief executive Pious Manamike noted that Rukuni’s views in this regard are in line with Cottco’s strategic thrust.

“As we replace our old ginneries, we are going to devolve and put up right-sized ginneries at strategic rural business centres in line with the government’s devolution thrust and our parent Ministry’s rural development mandate,” Manamike said.

He added that efforts to develop processing capacity to produce oil and cloth internally are still ongoing, with a pilot lint toll processing facility already in place.

“This is still work in progress but suffice to say that we have started toll processing our lint into yarn with a spinning mill in Norton and we are looking at other entities with idle capacity that we can use while our project to have our own is being implemented,” Manamike said.

He said, contrary to unfounded claims of a lack of accountability at Cottco, the company had tight controls in place to prevent leakages.

“Our entire cotton production value chain has enough safeguards that ensure accountability. Our inputs are received and verified with the suppliers, then we issue out our inputs at designated Common Inputs Distribution Points (CIDPs) which are manned  by our staff and other workers from the regulator, Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA), who ensures that bona fide contracted farmers receive the inputs, keep a record,” he said.

When it comes to the buying and marketing of cotton, all the crop buying takes place at Common Buying Points (CBPs) where AMA clerks will be present to ensure that the company only gets from its contracted farmers and paying the gazetted producer price.

Manamike noted that stock will immediately go under the control of the banks’ collateral managers who take charge from movement of lint and ginned seed to both local and international customers.

“We are one of the few companies that have such stringent controls to ensure accountability,” Manamike added.

Cotton industry remains strategic to Zimbabwe’s economy as it sustains a huge number of households and has the potential of significantly generating foreign currency.

It is estimated that there are approximately 250 000 to 300 000 small-scale farmers who grow between 0,5 ha and 5 ha of cotton on average every year.

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