The government of Kenya’s Kirinyaga county is planning to revive the Mwea Cotton Ginnery to support cotton farmers whose number has risen after the introduction of the transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) variety, which has been planted by around 100 farmers this season on an estimated 110 acres after receiving seeds from the Fibre Crops Directorate.
The cotton farmers under the Kirinyaga Cotton Cooperative Society are organised in five clusters—Riagiceru-Murinduko, South Ngariama, Nyangati, Tebere and Mutithi.
Governor Anne Waiguru has asked the departments of agriculture and trade and industries to work together to ensure that there is increased cotton production and that the Mwea Ginnery, which stopped operations a few years back, is revived, according to Kenyan media reports.
Waiguru noted that reopening of the ginnery will give rise to textile industries in the area thereby creating investment and employment opportunities for area residents.
Data from the county’s department of agriculture indicate the farm-gate prices for conventional cotton has been about Sh 52 per kilogram with the price of Bt cotton having a potential to fetch up to Sh 100 per kilogram.
Farmers will sell their cotton through the local cotton cooperative societies to ginneries appointed by the Agriculture, Fisheries & Food Authority (AFFA).