Home » Industry » Sino-Zim Cotton Expects Flat Production in 2015

Sino-Zimbabwe does not see any changes in the production capacity of its cotton business in the coming year. This is in spite of efforts by the company to boost capacity by acquiring new equipment for its production plant.

The company projected an increase in cotton seed and lint output at its $17 million plant commissioned by President Mugabe last year but with the challenges currently prevailing in the cotton industry the projections are expected to remain unchanged at 35 000 tonnes.

In an interview with The Herald Business yesterday, Sino-Zim Cotton chief operating officer Mr Thomas Meke said the company hopes for a better 2015 but the target capacity will be flat.

“The company has brought in new equipment at the plant and for 2015 we expect production to remain flat but there is always room for improvement. There will not be any significant changes to our targeted capacity,” said Mr Meke.

Sino-Zim purchased new springreels and weavings for the plant with the idea of increasing the current capacity of 25 000 tonnes of cotton seed and beneficiation by 17 percent.

The company has also been finalising a lease agreement with a local company, Scottco, on the possibility of using the premises where the weaving plant is currently situated to avoid dismantling it.

He said Sino-Zim needs about $1,5 million to recapitalise. The company is currently using internal resources to fund operations.

“We have managed to successfully install new equipment at the plant because we are optimistic of achieving good results at the end of the current selling season. Installation has been in progress for some time now,” said Mr Meke.

The company has lined up projects at the milling and spinning plant to support value addition and beneficiation in the cotton industry in support of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation, Economic blueprint.

The plant’s spinning division is promoting value addition through the production of high quality yarn for both domestic and international markets in Africa, Asia and Europe.

Mr Meke said the company’s primary objective is to promote cotton production and ensure farmers have equal and free access to high quality inputs at viable and sustainable prices.

The company is looking at doubling its 30 000 spinners capacity depending on the supply of cotton in the country.

Mr Meke remains confident of positive results despite the prevailing challenges of side marketing being done by some of the farmers contracted to the company.

He said companies who did not take part in providing inputs to farmers are now at the forefront of dictating prices and this had created an uneven playing field.

In tandem with operations, Sino-Zim cotton is awaiting a board decision to purchase at least 35 000 hectares of farming land as the company steps up efforts to register its footprints in cotton farming.

Mr Meke said the company is looking at exploring opportunities that enhance its presence on the local market.

“We are currently waiting for a board decision to purchase at least 35 000 hectares of land because we intend to venture into cotton farming.

The company was established in May 2010 as a joint venture company between Zimbabwe and China. It boasts of a farmer database of over 20 000 annually on a combined contract .

Source : The Herald