M a r k e t N e w s

New deal offers hope to cotton farmers

Posted on : Wednesday, 12th October 2016

 Cotton farmers are set to benefit from a contract signed by revived textile firm, Rivatex East Africa and Meru Ginnery.

Under the deal, Meru Ginnery will get its primary supply of seed cotton from Bura farmers. It will then process this seed cotton to derive cotton lint, which will be sold to Rivatex. The textile firm last year received Sh503 million from the Ministry of Industrialisation and Enterprise Development to buy new equipment.

Meru Ginnery will pay Sh52 per kilogramme of seed cotton it receives from farmers, who will also get 1.5 acres from the Government in a plan to scale up cotton production under contract.

Chinese imports The Government is providing 500 acres from a 6,500-acre irrigation scheme to farmers to supply the apparels industry, which is currently dependent on Chinese imports. Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed said his ministry wants to expand contractual cotton growing from the current 20 per cent to boost jobs in the sector. This will be done though co-operatives, with the Government committing to help farmers add value to their produce to improve earnings.

The co-operatives are also expected to set up ginneries with modern technologies to be more cost-effective. Following the extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), the ministry has been laying out plans for a textile city and an industrial park to improve primary cotton production. Kenya has almost 35,000 hectares under cotton, with an estimated 28,500 farmers and a yield of up to 30,000 bales.
Cotton lint production has declined from 38,000 tonnes in the 1980s to 5,500 tonnes due to a decline in seed quality. Yet, the cotton-textile sector is projected to create 90,000 jobs in the value chain, and impact more than 50,000 cotton growers, up from the current 28,500. “In an effort to develop the sector, the Government is developing a textile city in Athi River and a green industrial park in Naivasha (Ol Karia), targeting the textile sector,” Mr Mohamed said. Cotton ginneries will either buy seed cotton from farmers directly or at collection centres, and value will depend on whether the produce is grade Ar or Br.

Source : www.standardmedia.co.ke
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