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Busia targets to raise Sh5 billion from cotton farming

Busia County Executive Committee (CEC) Member for Agriculture, George Mukok has expressed confidence that the County would earn Sh5 billion from cotton farming per planting season.

Speaking to the press at Busia Agricultural Training Centre, Mukok said that the County plans to plant cotton under 42,000 acres with an acre estimated to produce one ton of cotton.

“Even the cotton seed will be milled to produce animal feeds,” he said adding that the County was likely to earn Sh5 billion per season.

He thanked the National Government for its continuous support especially on extension officers.

“Most of our Agricultural Extension officers have retired. Some have died and we are not able to replace them on time,” he said, adding that the County would embark on e –extension where targeted and well packaged messages would be sent to farmers through their mobile phones on the best cotton husbandry.

The official at the same time disclosed that the National Government has promised to help the County to employ 10 Extension Officers per ward.

Mukok further said that every ward should have at least one giant cooperative society which could host all the necessary agriculture value chain.

“The work of the cooperative is to aggregate all the produce and do away with the middleman by linking farmers to the market,” he explained.

The County CEC Member for Trade Olekachun Omuse said that the Department is currently registering at least one multi-purpose value chain cooperative in every ward.

“It means that each of our 35 wards will have value chains and aggregated sectors which will help determine the potential of each ward,” he explained.

Omuse further stated that the cooperatives would ensure that they link farmers to relevant markets.

Cotton farmers led by their representatives Paul Otieno, a farmer from Butula Sub County and Mary Odemba, said that revival of the sector would be a great relief to them because they had been reduced to peasant farmers due to high cost of fertilizer and low quality cotton seeds.

By Ochoko Gavin

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