A cotton ginnery has been set up for developing cotton value chain in Mumbwa district of Central province with an investment to the tune of about K5 million. Out of the total K5 million, Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) has funded about K3.5 million while K1.5 million came in from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
The cotton value chain project was flagged off in Mumbwa yesterday by Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Robert Sichinga saying that the project is expected to create more than 11,000 direct jobs in the district. The project is an indication that government is keen to delivering development to all parts of the country.
The cotton value chain project was the beginning of the Mumbwaâ€™s industrialisation as the CEEC will identify other projects to support once resources are available.
Mr. Sichinga revealed that a bulk of the money amounting to K3.5 million went towards the Mumbwa Ginning and Pressing Company which was established by the Zambia National Farmersâ€™ Union (ZNFU), Cotton Association of Zambia and the Mumbwa District Farmersâ€™ Association.
The establishment of the company will have a multiplier outcome, with around 2,200 cotton farmers expected to feed into the ginning company while other beneficiaries will be suppliers, contractors and transporters.
Mumbwa Ginning and Pressing Company, which will be the only indigenously owned cotton ginning company in Zambia, will be the anchor of the cotton value chain.
The Mumbwa Ginning and Pressing Company Managing Director, Danford Simujika, said that the establishment of the cotton company has helped improve the price of cotton in the country.
The company will be producing cotton seed, cake and lint. The ginning equipment has been ordered from India and is expected to be installed next month in time for the company to receive cotton from the 3,000 hectares cultivated by member farmers.
The companyâ€™s aim is to empower smallholder cotton producers through fair trade, owning and profitable participation in cotton value addition.
The company will assist by bringing greater circulation of cotton revenues within Mumbwa, thereby boosting the rural economy and in turn encouraging more Zambians to invest in cotton processing.
The company is expected to increase foreign exchange retention and reduce capital flight from the Zambian economy.
Further, with the CEEC loan settled, the 32 percent stake CEEC currently holds will be offloaded to farmers. More farmers will be getting an opportunity to own shares in the company.
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