National Assembly Trade, Industrialization and Cooperatives Committee members have pledged to push for more funds to be allocated to major industries in the country.
The MPs led by the committee vice chairperson Oundo Wilberforce Ojiambo said for the country to attain industrialization, there was need to give every support to the manufacturing sector.
The MPs who spoke while on a tour of the Rift Valley Textile Company (RIVATEX) in Eldoret town, stressed that supporting industries was the sure way for Kenya to attain industrialization.
The vice chair who was accompanied by other members including Robert Githinji (Gichimu MP ), Andrew Wadime ( Mwatate ) and Jared Odoyo of Nyando observed that expansion and revival of the once vibrant industries would also go a long way in creating the much-needed jobs for thousands of unemployed youths.
In his remarks, Odoyo said the revival of Rivatex that had collapsed for several years was enough testimony that with good investment and support, Kenya can grow its industries to boost its economy.
Such factories also create employment for the local community whose economic empowerment would improve livelihoods, he said adding “A lot of money has been put into various industries and manufacturing under the Big Four Agenda that has created job opportunities for Kenyans”.
The committee members also said they will push for allocation of more funds to Rivatex to enable it to achieve its expansion and modernization plans.
They further urged the county governments through the Agriculture docket to support farmers in planting cotton to enable Rivatex get locally produced raw materials easily.
Rivatex management says 24 counties have the ability to plant cotton, a key raw material for textile companies. Currently, Rivatex is forced to import some of the raw materials for lack of adequate local raw materials.
Odoyo said the country needs about a million acres of cotton for Rivatex to get sufficient raw materials locally, hence the need for support from all stakeholders.
“It is time we worked on seeing the results for billions that have been pumped into this facility,” added the Nyando MP.
Rivatex Managing Director Prof. Thomas Kipkurgat said already 80,000 farmers have started planting cotton. “We are putting more effort to have farmers plant more cotton. Soon we will give them BT Cotton which will double the yield beginning next season as we have guaranteed market here at the factory,” said the MD.
According to Prof. Kipkurgat, the Moi University-owned textile industry has 16,800 spindles that translate to 12 tons of yarns per day and able to channel over 70,000 meters of finished products daily.
By Kiptanui Cherono