Government of Kenya to revive cotton industry
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett has encouraged farmers to venture into cotton farming as the government is keen on reviving the industry.
Speaking during a visit at Base Titanium Mining Company, which has established a cotton farming program for the local communities in Mwachande village in Kwale County, Mr Bett expressed government commitment to revive the sector.
He lauded titanium company for reintroducing production of cotton as part of its Cooperate Social Responsibility to improve the livelihood of local communities.
“We have put up mechanisms to revive the cotton industry and our emphasis has been on enhancing strong relations with key stakeholders to boost self-regulation and promote not only production but also value and consumption of cotton,” he said.
The CS said the government is aware of opportunities and challenges facing the cotton sector and is keen to mobilise resources to ensure that the sector is back on its feet.
“We want to ensure that opportunities in the cotton textile value chain are enhanced through access to credit and encourage the formation of cooperatives and implementation of appropriate polices to support the sector,” he said.
Base Titanium General Manager for Environment and Community Affairs Colin Forbes said their main objective is to empower small-scale farmers to improve their living standards.
He said they train the farmers and provide them with equipment, seeds and chemicals.
“As a company we made a commitment to government to improve living standards of communities in the area we operate in through funding and community projects,” he said.
According to Mr Forbes the mining company conducted trials in 2014 and discovered that cotton farming is an economically viable in Kwale County.
Cotton production in Kenya currently stands at 4,000 metric tonnes of lint while the spinning capacity demand is about 10,000 metric tons of lint and 50 percent of requirements are imported.
CREDIT: Daily Nation
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