The government in agreement with stakeholders has raised the price of cotton from the current Sh52 per kilogram to Sh65 per kilogram.
The Principal Secretary State Department for Industry Dr. Juma Mukhwana, said cotton which was once a major cash crop in 24 counties had declined due to low prices of cotton lint in the country.
He announced that the prices of the cash crop which is a priority value chain for the government’s Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda will take effect immediately in all the cotton-growing regions in the country.
“It is envisaged that this increment coupled with revamped extension support will make the farmers upscale production for the country to attain its goal in cotton production,” said the PS.
“I encourage all cotton farmers to take advantage of this price increase and support from extension officers to grow more cotton needed to fully revive the once vibrant ginning, spinning, weaving and garment industries in Kenya,” Dr. Mukhwana urged.
In a press statement sent to the newsroom, the PS said the cotton value chain has the potential to create one million jobs by 2030 and reduce the import bill of over Sh1.7 billion worth of textiles besides producing lint with oil and seedcake for animal feeds as by-products.
He said the current production is 6,779 bales against an annual demand of 100,000 bales, and attributed the low production and productivity to poor and inadequate seed and low farm gate prices.
Dr. Mukhwana assured farmers of the government’s arrangement to ensure adequate cotton seeds supply and ready market for the crop.
The PS revealed that his ministry is working with Governors from 24 counties to buy and avail more seeds in the year 2024, intending to increase cotton production from 40,000 acres this year to 100,000 acres next year.
“Currently we have seven operational ginneries. Three new ginneries will be built in Homa bay, Kwale and Lamu counties in partnership with the private sector,” he stated.
By Bernadette Khaduli