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BT cotton to be planted in Kenya from next year

Planting of BT cotton will be rolled out in the country from next year.

Industrialization and Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina has said the new product promises cotton farmers who are still using hybrid cotton seed high production and greater earnings.

BT cotton is a genetically modified pest-resistant plant cotton variety, which produces an insecticide to combat bollworm.

Speaking at Rivatex industries Wednesday after visiting cotton farmers in Chegilet, Elgeyo Marakwet County, Maina said with assurance of a ready market by Rivatex, more farmers will be encouraged to increase cotton production.

“It is gratifying to note that farmers in the Kerio Valley who had almost given up on cotton production have increasingly added more acres of the crop in the last three years following the revival of Rivatex,” she added.

“With the investment the government has pumped in to revive Rivatex as part of reviving the local textile industry, the factory now consumes 10,000 bales of cotton, yet local farmers can only produce 3000 bales currently,” added the CS.

She said Rivatex was committed to buying all the locally planted cotton and urged farmers to take advantage of the introduction of BT cotton to plant more next year.

And to support revival of the textile sector, the CS said the government will buy all the textile it consumes locally that was why state agencies now purchase locally tailored fabrics.

By Kiptanui Cherono

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