By Evans Ongwae : The Nation (Nairobi)
For more than 60 years, Thika Cloth Mills Limited (TCM) has believed in the ability of local industries and skill to manufacture quality products.
Leading by example, the company sources ginned cotton from local farmers, which it uses to manufacture quality, assorted fabrics and textiles, and distributes on the continent.
Thus, TCM plays a vital role in the cotton value chain. This has been possible because of the firm’s heavy investments in modern machinery as well as skilled employees.
Over the last few years, the textile firm has assembled state-of-the-art machinery critical to efficient manufacturing of quality fabric and textiles.
This has enabled TCM to absorb cotton from various parts of Kenya, thereby supporting the regional drive to ‘Buy Africa, Build Africa’.
Farmers in Kenya’s regions of Mpeketoni, Homa Bay, Siaya, Machakos, Kitui and Makueni are currently growing cotton actively and look forward to getting a steady market such as what TCM offers. They are also doing trials to determine the most suitable breed for the specific growing areas.
The breeds undergoing the trials include traditional, Bt and hybrid seeds.
TCM notes that most countries in sub-Saharan Africa are keen to industrialise so as to improve their citizens’ quality of life within the next few years.
In Kenya, the ‘Buy Kenya, Build Kenya’ initiative is receiving good support from the government through the Ministry of Industrialisation and Enterprise Development, and also from the county governments.
Some sections of Kenya’s disciplined forces have their textile fabrics made from Thika Cloth Mills. This is a big boost, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has disrupted many businesses.
However, TCM believes a lot more needs to be done to grow the local manufacturing industry and in turn expand the economy at large, in line with Kenya’s Big 4 Agenda of industrialising the nation by 2022.
TCM makes quality bedsheets and uniform materials for hospitals, schools, security firms, corporations, churches, hotels and government institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.