Kenya plans to revive its cotton industry by leveraging the cooperative model to boost the textile sector’s overall performance and eliminate the import of cotton raw materials in the next five years, according to Rajeev Arora, cotton, textile and apparel value chain advisor to the cabinet secretary of the ministry of industry, trade and cooperatives.
As cotton production has reduced from 30,000 tonnes in the 1980s to approximately 7,500 tonnes now, the aim is to raise production to 10,000 tonnes by the end of 2020 by increasing area under cultivation, Arora said at the launch of the Kenya Investment Policy recently.
The key driver of reducing cotton output is the increasing cost of production that has made the cash crop to become unprofitable.
Kenya has a pilot project in the coastal county of Kwale where farmers have formed a cooperative, which the government plans to replicate in 22 counties, a news agency report quoted Arora as saying.
He said farmers will be provided with certified seeds to ensure optimum yields.
Kenya loses about $1.5 billion annually in lost value addition opportunities due to over-reliance on imports of intermediate cotton products that are converted into finished textile products, added Arora.