By TAURAI MANGUDHLA
Zimbabwe’s largest cotton dealer, Cottco says it is working on an expansion drive that will see it entering the textile and oil processing markets.
Chief executive officer, Pius Manamike said this week that the move was part of a broad regional expansion drive meant to transform the state-run firm into one of Africa’s biggest cotton dealers within 10 years.
“Under Cottco Holdings we only have the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe. We need to now have a textile company that processes products from cotton, maybe another oil company that processes oil from seed. These are the areas we are looking at in terms of value addition,” Manamike said.
“From cotton we produce two products, there is cotton lint and gin seed. The gin seed is crushed into oil where you end up getting stock feed and oil. The seed we are producing in Zimbabwe is being value added, but not by Cottco.
“So, for the nation seed is being value added but for Cottco we are not value adding. It is an area we can decide whether to do it or not.”
He said the lint side, which relates to textiles, had a great opportunity for investment given that the local industry only takes about 10 000 tonnes of lint which is a far cry from the 30% reserved for local value addition.
“So, the textile industry is where there are huge opportunities for investors to come in and produce yarn, fabrics and clothes. That area is an area that we need to work on as a company,” Manamike said.
“It needs a lot of money but if we get the right model, right financial partners we can actually put some spinning wheels to produce, but we are doing that in a small way. We are toll spinning with a company in Norton and we are using that also to learn how to run that industry.”
Based on the toll spinning project in Norton, Cottco sees commercial value and potential in this project.
Manamike also said the company was engaging commercial farmers, who have irrigation to increase production.
The company is also engaging schools to have a small portion of cotton under agricultural studies. Output from the small projects will be bought by Cottco and schools will benefit from the revenues,” he said.