THE Zambian High Commission in India says an Indian company is investing US$7m to build a factory that would process 8,000 metric tonnes of cotton lint in 2019. According to statement issued by first secretary press and tourism at the Zambian Mission in India, Bangwe Naviley, Vagmi Cotton Limited had already acquired 26 acres of land in Mwembeshi area, Chibombo district, for the project.
Naviley explained that the company would in 2020, evolve from cotton ginning to a full textile, which “would resuscitate the once vibrant textile industry in Zambia.”
“My company is also in talks with Indo Zambia Bank to study possibilities of a joint venture or leasing the defunct Kafue Textiles Company,” Vagmi chief executive officer Amit Dwivedi said.
Dwivedi said his company further identified Boniface Daka from Lusaka’s Chawama area who had been fully sponsored and was undertaking a year-long training programme in India focusing on factory engineering and operations management.
“The company will engage 23,000 cotton farmers from Mumbwa, Shibuyunji, Chipata, Petauke, Lundazi, Katete, among others, in the next two years,” said Dwivedi.
This came to light when Zambia’s High Commissioner to India Judith Kapijimpanga toured Vagmi Company Cotton Factory in Indore, in the Indian State of Madhya Pradesh.
“The company will be running an outgrower scheme where it will supply farmers with seed, chemicals, wool packs and we shall collect cotton from farming areas because we will procure an initial 15 trucks,” the CEO said.
High Commissioner Judith Kapijimpanga noted with gratitude that Vagmi was happy with a clear policy direction by the Zambian government on value addition, and especially that the Cotton Board of Zambia had a fixed cotton price for a win-win situation.
“Zambia has reliable transport system, hospitable citizens, peaceful, reliable electricity supply, progressive legal and banking systems,” she said.
High Commissioner Kapijimpanga said she was happy to note that Vagmi would also build houses for some Zambian staff running the factory.
“Zambia has been yearning for the revamping of the textiles sector following the defunct Mulungushi and Kafue Texiles companies,” said High Commissioner Kapijimpanga.