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Acute cotton shortage cripples Nigeria’s revamped Rivatex

Nigeria’s Rivatex textile factory, revamped at a cost of Sh6 billion, is operating below capacity due to acute shortage of cotton, according to its chief executive officer Thomas Kipkurgat, who said cotton production must rise for full-capacity operation. The firm is in the process of signing agreements with 18 counties to back farmers to produce more cotton.

It has already signed a partnership with Elgeyo Marakwet county to support 3,000 cotton farmers in the Kerio valley and has entered into another with Rift Valley Technical Training Institute (RVTTI) to train personnel, according to Kenyan media reports.

Rivatex will provide technical support for development of an appropriate competency-based curriculum, while RVTTI on the other hand will establish customised courses for the textile industry.

The country produces an average of 25,000 bales against a demand of 200,000 bales. The deficit is covered through imports from Uganda, Tanzania and East Asia.

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