CHEGUTU-One of the country’s biggest textile firms, David Whitehead Textiles, has resumed production though on a small scale.
The textile firm is poised to expand operations through funding from a local facility for distressed companies as well as investment partners.
The reopening of the firm is expected to benefit farmers who are likely to get favourable prices for their crop.
During it’s hey days, David Whitehead was at the centre for economic activities in Chegutu and Kadoma.
When the company closed, thousands of workers were sent into the streets while downstream industries were heavily affected, including the cotton farmers.
The former textile giant which is under judicial management is, however, re-awakening, news that should sound as sweet music to the ears of thousands of cotton farmers in Gokwe and Muzarabani as well as job seekers.
ZBC News reports that David Whitehead’s Chegutu factory has now partially opened and has a staff compliment of 200.
There are short term plans to re-open the company’s Kadoma branch, whose business line is spinning.
David Whitehead Textiles judicial manager Knowledge Hofisi says the firm is set to secure between US$1.5 million and US$2 million from the Distressed and Marginalised Areas Fund for short term investment.
Long term investment for the textile company requires US$20 million which will allow the firm to replace the current fabric making machines which are now obsolete.
At full production capacity, David Whitehead Textiles has the capacity to produce 100 000 metres of fabric weekly.
Current production levels are at 40 000 metres per week according reported ZBC News.
Experts say the revival of such critical companies in the textile industry such as David Whitehead depends on a protectionist policy framework.
Zimbabwe is losing millions of dollars by exporting unprocessed cotton.
Cotton buyers have also allegedly manipulated prices and the industry is almost collapsing as farmers have abandoned the crop once christened the white gold.