The turnaround of Eldoret-based textile manufacturer Rivatex East Africa is in full swing with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta expected to open a new production unit soon. The cotton mill is back in action three years after the Kenyan and the Indian Governments equitably injected Sh 6 billion into the plant that was used to buy modern equipment.
The factory collapsed two decades ago due to mismanagement and corruption. It was then a fully state-owned company. Moi University acquired it four years ago.
It employs 600 people now and aims to have 3,000 workers when the revival is complete. It expects to increase the consumption of cotton from 10,000 bales per day now to 100,000 bales. By then it will be producing 40,000 metres of textiles per day compared to the current 5,000 metres, according to Kenyan media reports.
Rivatex has already won contracts to produce materials for police uniforms and government agencies like Kenya Power, the Geothermal Development Company, hospitals as well as gowns for public and private universities.
The company is also eyeing the regional markets as well as the African Growth and Opportunity Act market through the Export Processing Zone.
The company has signed contractual agreements with farmers and ginneries to boost the production. Some 40,000 cotton growers in 22 counties are expected to benefit.