PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu noting that time had come for the country to embark on a crusade of embracing value addition and revival of the textile firm was set to meet aspirations, yesterday Mulungushi Textiles was officially opened.
Mulungushi Textiles is expected to earn the country much needed foreign exchange and also will create more than 20,000 jobs in the next five years.
Speaking when he opened the textile yesterday, President Lungu said that the revival of the industry would also increase the cotton value chain and expand exports to boost the countryâ€™s economy.
The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and its partners would mobilise and invest an initial US $15 million in cutting edge technology and rehabilitation of the textile plant which was closed about 10 years ago.
Apart from investing the US $15 million, the company would also establish a cotton outgrower scheme of more than 10,000 farmers in Kabwe, Kapiri Mposhi, Chibombo, Chisamba and Ngabwe districts.
President Lungu also called on small scale farmers to take advantage of the Mulungushi Textiles to access certified seed and increase production.
He said that there was need to take advantage of the plant being at the central location for it have access to the market both locally and internationally.
He further said that it is not a secret that the reopening of this textile company provides the most significant opportunity for small scale farmers to engage in cash crops in line with their industrialization agenda.
The company has already employed about 300 people who had been doing preliminary works ahead of the reopening yesterday although the number is expected to reach more than 2,000 by December this year.
Mr Lungu pledged to resuscitate the cotton industry in Zambia as it provided employment to many people in the country.
He called on management at the firm to collaborate with the Cotton Association of Zambia (CAZ), the Cotton Development Trust (CDT) and the Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI) for quality seed production to be offered on the market.
The Head of State also thanked the Chinese government for handing over the Mulungushi plant to the Zambian Government in 1983.
President Lungu said that the reopening of Mulungushi Textiles meant that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government should be trusted as it was a Government that kept its promises.
In Zambia, cotton was Zambiaâ€™s second most important crop after maize.
Industrial Development Corporation chief executive officer Andrew Chipwende described President Lunguâ€™s move to open the textilee as fulfillment of his promise to the people of Kabwe.
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