Conrad Mupesa-Mashonaland West Bureau
THE revitalisation of Kadoma’s biggest firm, David Whitehead Textiles (DWT) is on the government agenda with cotton farmers being challenged to increase white-gold productivity for the execution of the resuscitation drive.
The remarks were made by Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development Deputy Minister, Vangelis Haritatos during the just-ended 107th Kadoma Agricultural Show.
The revamp of the plant, he said, was critical as a central employment maker in Kadoma, which services Sanyati, one of the country’s biggest cotton producing districts.
“Kadoma is affectionately known as the “white gold city” and the government has seen it fit to increase cotton productivity per unit area hence the introduction of cotton under Pfumvudza this coming season. The target is to dedicate 250 000 hectares to produce 250 000 metric tonnes benefitting 520 000 farmers in the 2021/22 season.
“Increased productivity in the cotton value chain will see the resuscitation of David Whitehead Textiles which was once fundamental for employment creation in Kadoma,” he said.
Over 4 000 people from Kadoma were employed by the company. To help revamp the sector, the government has this year put cotton under the Pfumvudza scheme towards National Development Strategy 1 (NDS-1).
Pfumvudza, an Agriculture Recovery Plan aimed at rolling out inputs to Small Scale Farmers in the A1 and communal areas for a climate proofed scheme (Scheme), has seen the nation becoming food secure with the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC) report postulating that at least 81 percent of households nationally were food secure in 2020 and 2021.
“Indications from the ZIMVAC and crop assessments programmes show that most households in the district (Sanyati) are acquiring a status of food security. These achievements are attributed by the role of Government and partners in the implementation of the agricultural policies,” he said.
The successful hosting of Kadoma Agricultural Show which went into a sabbatical state last year due to Covid-19 lockdown and a decline in a number of exhibitors during the 2019 event, comes at the backdrop of a 34 percent increase in the agriculture sector with of three million metric tonnes of cereals having been produced last season.