By David Musyoka NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya will import two tonnes of
certified seeds from Israel to distribute to local smallscale
cotton farmers in the coming long rains season as part of
efforts to revive the industry.
Livestock and Fisheries Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett confirmed
Wednesday that government is importing the high yield seeds from
Hazera Genetics through Amiran Kenya Limited. Hazera, a global
leader in seed industry, is headquartered in Israel.
Bett confirmed that
the importation deal is being undertaken with a view to
improving local cotton productivity and as well increase
farmers’ income base.
“These seeds has
undergone mandatory tests by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate
Services (KEPHIS) and is ready for commercialization,” said Bett.
The seeds will be
distributed to farmers for planting during the coming long rains
“The yield potential
of this seed is 2,000 kilograms per hectare and therefore this
is a major step in addressing the yield gap and competitiveness
of value chain,” Bett said.
Once proved viable
and adaptable to local ecological zones the seeds will be
multiplied to enable more farmers access and increase their
The seed importation
deal is meant to supplement local initiatives the government is
undertaking to produce and commercialize the varieties.
The cotton industry
is grappling with numerous challenges such as low production,
high production cost, high cost of inputs especially pesticides
for producers and power cost for processors.