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Government to revive the cotton industry

The Ministry of Investments, Trade, and Industry is committed to revitalising the cotton value chain across the 24 selected counties with the potential to produce the cash crop for the revival of garment manufacturing industries.

Investments, Trade, and Industry Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria said it was time counties took the lead in ensuring that farmers were facilitated to grow more cotton to enable garment factories to get the needed raw materials.

Speaking in Eldoret during a consultative forum with top officials from cotton-growing counties and other stakeholders, the CS said the government plans to revive the cotton sector to economically boost the livelihoods of farmers.

“We cannot continue importing garment raw materials for our industries, yet we have the capacity to produce more than enough for these factories,” said Kuria.

The CS said the government aims to ensure that Kenya maximises the benefits of the whole cotton value chain, noting that Ginning is a key focus and thus the Government is keen on setting up a ginnery in the identified counties.

“The national government is committed to ensuring the right policies are in place, such as the imposition of levies to encourage the growth of the local apparel sector, ensure cotton seed development, capacity building, cotton aggregation, and make cotton seed available for the farmers, as we seek to give the farmers options of accessing organic and non-BT cotton seed that is regenerative in nature,” said the CS.

PS State Department for Industry, Dr. Juma Mukhwana, on his part, said already the government has imported at least 60 metric tonnes of cotton seeds that can produce high yields of up to 900 kg per acre.

“We are giving farmers all the options to realise revitalization of this sector, and by doing so, we will reduce the unemployment aspect among the youth,” said Mukhwana.

“We want to ensure that the locally manufactured clothes meet both quality and affordability to avoid dependence on imports, and we assure you that in a few years, all the clothes will be manufactured here in the country,” said Mukhwana.

By Kiptanui Cherono

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