The Cotton Company (COTTCO) of southern African country of Zimbabwe has announced plans to partner experts from local and foreign companies to begin the beneficiation of cotton, in order to promote higher producer prices for farmers in the country.
Beneficiation is a process of obtaining or extracting raw materials (in this case cotton) through chemical, physical or mechanical means.
Addressing members of the National Assembly from cotton growing areas in the country, COTTCO managing director Mr. David Machingaidze said the company was in the process of engaging experts from textile industry for advice on the due processes, reports Zimbabwean newspaper The Herald.
COTTCO is looking at two aspects in the process of cotton beneficiation, wherein in the first aspect is to enter into partnerships with local oil expressers who already have the capacity to crush seed but are not fully utilizing it, he added.
Mr. Machingaidze said that instead of selling raw cotton seed, COTTCO intends to crush it so that revenues come back to the company which in turn would allow it to offer better producer prices to cotton growers.
According to the COTTCO official, the issue of pricing has been a sore point in the cotton industry of the country, as farmers have remained resolute in their push for higher cotton prices, and ginners argue that cotton prices are determined internationally forcing them to pay lower prices.
The move to add value cotton seed would mean better producer prices for farmers and employment creation for locals in line with the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation, he added.
Last season, Zimbabwean farmers were forced to withhold their crop in order to force ginners to increase cotton prices but in the end, most farmers had to sell a 200kg bale of cotton for as little as US$60.
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