© SOUTHERN Cotton Company (SCC) plans to build a ginning plant in Chiredzi next year where it recorded the highest levels of cotton production in the 2018/2019 cotton farming season. SCC managing director Caos Nzenze said they have opted to build the ginning plant in Chiredzi because out of about 5 500 tonnes of seed cotton realised in the 2018/2019 season, over 10 percent came from cotton farmers in the low veld.
He said the cotton firm had already secured the ginning plant and it was now left for the Chiredzi Rural Council to allocate land on which to set it up.
“It will obviously save transport costs because before we had to bring the seed cotton to Tafuna ginning plant in Masho- naland Central. The budget is already set,” he said.
Nzenze was, however, unwilling to disclose the amount of money used to pur- chase the new ginning plant.
SCC, which is the second largest cotton company in the country, currently has ginning sites in Sanyathi, Checheche, Tafuna and Chegutu.
The firm also contracts farmers in all the country’s 10 provinces but is more active in Centenary and Muzarabani in Mashonaland Central Province, Rutenga in Masvingo
Province and the Lowveld. Last year, SCC managed to produce over 15 000 tonnes of cotton seed on 42 000 hec- tares and is targeting to dis- tribute cotton farming inputs spanning over 60 000 hectares of land in the 2019/2020 farming season.
The cotton company is projecting up to 25 000 tonnes of seed cotton at the end of the season with the bulk coming from the Lowveld.
In the meantime, Tafuna ginning plant currently processes up to 18 bales per hour which accumulates to around 20 000 tonnes per month.
Besides the lint output, Nzenze said that 14 200 tonnes of the seed output will be turned into oil, to complement the cooking oil industry.
“The balance will go into stock feed and soap production,” he said.