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Revival of cotton ginnery kicks off in Bungoma

The process of reviving the collapsed Malikisi ginnery in in Sirisia Sub County of Bungoma County has kicked off.This is after the Principal Secretary State Department of Industrialization Juma Mukhwana and his Crops docket counterpart Philip Harsama toured the area to give out free seeds to farmers in Malakisi and reaffirmed the government’s commitment to revive the factory.

2000 kilograms of cotton seeds will be distributed in Bungoma county as a way of encouraging farmers who had abandoned growing cotton to resume cultivation of the crop.

Mukwana further said that the National government will also provide fertilizer and chemicals to farmers adding that the quantity of cotton produced by local farmers was too little and insufficient for the available industries.

Harsama assured farmers that there will be a ready market for their products.Speaking during the event, Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka said there was need to reassure farmers before they go back to tend the crop saying most of them had given up because of none payment before the collapse of the ginnery.

Lusaka noted that there is need to reassure farmers that this time round things will be done differently, because the scars of the past failure are fresh in their minds.

He said Bungoma had very good weather conditions for growing cotton and as a County, they will ensure proper value chain addition to the cotton products.

The governor called on the industries processing cotton to ensure that they maintain good prices of cotton adding low prices have discouraged many farmers in the past.

The ginnery was the economic mainstay in Bungoma County but collapsed in the early 90s.

Peter Wafula, a former cotton farmer at Tulienge village in Sirisia Sub County Bungoma County has welcomed the move by the government noting that it will not only benefit farmers but will also act as a source of employment for the youth.

Wafula noted that youths in the area will seek employment at the ginnery stating that in the past the weather in the area was favorable for the crop.

However, he noted with concern the climate change stigma and urged the government both at the county and national government to pump more funds into mitigating climate change.

The farmer also urged the government to modernize operations at the ginnery so that the product can sell on the international market.

He called upon the young generation to embrace farming, stating that in the past apart from cotton they cultivated pepper, tobacco, cassava, groundnuts among other crops that are drought resistant.

By Douglas Mudambo

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