Mumbwa Cotton Ginnery holds future for local farmers


THE Mumbwa Cotton Ginnery (MCG) will offer farmers an option to either sell their fiber directly or ginned while retaining maximum profits through value addition, says Cotton Association of Zambia (CAZ) national coordinator Joseph Nkole. In an interview yesterday, Mr Nkole  said that the MCG was the first ever Zambian owned plant that offered its association members the best deal as it allowed them to either sell their entire cotton production or have it ginned into lint while retaining by-products such as the cake for animal feed. Mr Nkole explained that unlike in the past whereby cotton farmers were offered a raw deal by some private ginneries, the MCG was an initiative that would give cotton farmers value for their labour through value addition.  He said that similar concepts  of opening ginneries in  Lundazi, Katete, Choma and Sinazongwe  were underway, adding that it would empower farmers and give them a sense of ownership and control. Mr Nkole said that the association had invested 7,000 hectares of cotton which covered Mumbwa,  Lundazi,  Monze, Katete, Chipata, Mazabuka, Chipata and parts of Chibombo. He said that MCG was expected to buy two million kilogrammes of cotton, this season and that  so far purchased one and half million kilograms representing 75 percent had been ginned. Mr Nkole expressed hope that the  new Agriculture minister Dora Siliya would propel the Government’s policy on industrialization,  diversification of produce and an emphasis on value addition so that natural resources could be turned into income. The MCG started its operations in 2012 , the Government through the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission ( CEEC) has 32 shares in the plant.   Other shareholders are the Cotton Association of Zambia (CAZ) with 28 percent shares, Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) 25 percent and Mumbwa Farmers District Association who have 15 percent shares.