NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya has announced plans aimed at revamping its
ailing cotton sector, a government official revealed on
Director of Horticulture Research Institute at the Kenya
Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), said
the sub sector has potentials for the manufacturing industry
that is one of the key development agendas of the government.
“We have plans to
introduce the development of cotton production using hybrids,
which will have three times the production yield,” Waturu said
during a cotton stakeholders meeting in Nairobi.
He said the
government has plans to give incentives to investors to build
modern ginneries and textile manufacturing plants as part of the
“We intend to
increase revenue from textile industry from 35 million U.S.
dollars to 20 billion dollars,” he added.
He said the East
Africa country is also exploring the potential of application
biotechnology and other plant breeding techniques to help
produce quality seeds.
“We have a
provisional commercialization of Bt cotton trials road map and
has identified in the nine sites for National Performance Trials
(NPTs),” he said.
Waturu noted that
some 50,000 youths and women are to be trained and 5 million
square feet of industrial sheds will be established in
cotton-growing regions to boost production.
observed that additional 500,000 jobs will be created in the sub
sector and 100,000 new clothes jobs by the year 2022.
“The cotton sub
sector can be revived faster with the adoption of modern
technology such as biotechnology,” said Edward Nguu, professor
at the biochemistry department of University of Nairobi.
are desirable because they are pest resistance, drought
tolerance, cold tolerance and reduces the use of herbicides and
chemicals in farming,” he added.
He noted that the
technologies derived from authorized genetically-modified (GM)
crops are as safe as conventional varieties and takes a shorter
time to achieve desired results.
“Kenya’s cotton has
been low in competition to the more efficient producers in
India, China, Bangladesh and Vietnam,” said Dickson Kibata,
Technical Advisor on fiber crops from to the Agriculture and
Food Authority (AFA).
Kibata said that the
leading producers of cotton have in the past years developed
integrated strategy that cuts across production and value
addition to markets.
He attributed low
production of cotton to high energy cost, low technology
upgradation and competition from cheap imports.
“The sub sector has
outmoded ginneries, spinning and weaving with only garmenting at
the Export Promotion Zones (EPZ) which is modernized,” he noted.
He revealed that
today, only 30,000 farmers are involved in cotton growing that
produces 4,000 tonnes against the market demand of 25,000
tonnes, yet the country has the potential for 200,000 farmers as
Kibata revealed that
AFA targets productivity efficiency of 2,500 kilograms per
hectares in the future compared to the current 572 kilograms per
“We have started a
national cotton classing system through the planting of
conventional and hybrid seed varieties,” he noted.
Kibata said the
Kenyan government is due to launch production of the commodity
through irrigation with expectation of 35,000 bales expected to
come from irrigation as well as adoption of Bt cotton that is
expected to lower the cost of production by 40 percent.
He noted that the
government recently appointed a 12-member task force to oversee
commercialization of Bt-cotton.