Cotton farmers benefit from subsidised seed and fertiliser

Agriculture Busia Counties Editor's Pick

Cotton farming in Busia received a major boost after the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) gave a greenlight to farmers to begin collecting subsidised fertiliser and cotton seeds ahead of the planting season.

Busia County has been singled out as a model county for cotton and edible oil cultivation, according to Statehouse Spokesperson Hussein Mohamed.

The 82,000 bags of subsidised fertiliser and 17 tonnes of cotton seed will be distributed to farmers already registered in various cotton cooperatives across the seven sub counties in Busia as the state aims at using Busia to pilot the revival of the cotton industry.

Government aims at ensuring cotton production is increased from about 300 kg currently per acre to at least 800 kg.

Also, Busia targets to increase total land of cotton coverage from 11,253 acres to 42,000 acres to revive cotton ginnery at Muluanda.

According to the National Cereals and Produce Board Western region manager Esther Chege in a circular said the allocation of cotton seed per ward was based on the available quantities.

From the circular, farmers from Samia subcounty registered under Namasali Farmers’ Cooperative Society in Agenga/ Nanguba ward and those listed under Olima Farmers’ Cooperative Society at Namboboto/ Nambuku ward will receive the inputs to facilitate cotton planting in 949 acres.

The farmers will collect the fertiliser and cotton seed at the warehouse at Mulwanda Cooperative Society, according to the circular.

In neighbouring Bunyala Sub County, farmers registered with All Bunyala Farmers’ Cooperative Society will collect cotton seed and fertiliser at NIA warehouse. Beneficiary farmers in the sub county are those from Bunyala North ward.

Cotton farmers from Matayos, including growers from Matayos South ward will collect their fertilisers and seeds at Busia ATC store.

Samia, Bunyala and Matayos will receive 1,424 kilos of cotton seeds (C571 BGII cotton) and 1,899 bags of fertiliser, each, with every sub county allocating 949 acres for the inaugural project.

Unlike Samia, Bunyala and Matayos subcounties, cotton farmers from Butula will receive 1,424 kilograms of cotton seed that is -C569 cotton variety and 1,899 bags of subsidised fertilisers at the store room at the DCC’s office.

For Teso North, Jairos Cotton Farmers Cooperative Society farmers from  Malaba North ward will benefit from 1899 bags of fertilisers and 1424 kg of cotton seed with two cotton seed varieties – the fast maturing C571 (765KG) and MAHYCO C567( 659KG) where 510 acres will be put under C571 production as 439 acres accommodate MAHYCO.

Similar to Teso North, farmers in Teso South where members of the Adungosi Cotton Farmers Cooperative Society (Chakol South ward) and those from Lukolis Cotton Farmers Cooperative (Amukura West ward) have been registered for the project will get MAHYCO C567 and C569 cotton varieties. The fertilizers and seeds will be collected at the DCC’s compound in Amukura.

Nambale farmers will collect fertiliser and planting material at the Nambale Cooperative Society Warehouse after beneficiary farmers were listed in the wards of Bukhayo East and Nambale Township under the umbrella of Madibo New Vision Cooperative Society and Nambale Cotton Farmers Cooperative respectively.

The sub county will also receive two cotton varieties to boost production – C569 and C571. C569 will be planted on 952 acres supported by 1,428 kilos of seed and 1,904 bags of fertilizer as C571 is planted on 949 acres of land with the activity supported by 1,424 kilograms of seed and 1,899 bags of fertiliser.

Farmers have begun to embrace cotton farming in the country with already over 12,000 Kenyans enlisted in cotton cooperatives according to NCPB.

By Absalom Namwalo

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