Poor cotton seeds stunting revival of textile industry, research

Ronny Kibet a Cotton farmer picking ready cotton at his  farm in Koitilial village in Aror ward,Elgeyo Marakwet County on February 2,2022. [Christopher Kipsang,Standard]

Improving upon the high-quality of cotton seed has been fronted as 1 of the ways the region can revitalise the struggling textile industry.

The Kenya Institute for General public Coverage Investigate and Evaluation (Kippra) also recommends the incorporation of cotton advancement programmes into counties’ built-in advancement ideas.

This, Kippra says, will be certain cotton farming is perfectly sourced.

In a publication talking about the standing of the second-hand economy in the state, textiles amid them, Kippra notes how the substantial opportunity of this sector in Kenya is hiccupped by the undersupply of cotton.


As these, the country has grow to be dependent on imports of second-hand clothes with 183,830 tons remaining shipped in 2021.

Knowledge shared by Kippra in the publication titled Rejuvenating Community Production in the Context of Secondhand Overall economy, Kippra states that cotton developing in the place is accomplished by compact-scale farmers on land averaging a person hectare (per farmer) and is primarily intercropped with other foods crops.

It notes that there are about 40,000 compact-scale cotton farmers now as in contrast to 200,000 in the mid-1980s.

“The believed once-a-year usage of cotton by the textile mills is approximated at 8,000MT (41,200 bales), and the great demand to fulfill national necessities is 26,000MT (140,000 bales),” claims Kippra. “These stats clearly show that the substantial probable of the textile marketplace is curtailed by undersupply of cotton raw components.”

Major good reasons for the undersupply, it adds, are the constraints faced by cotton farmers, such as the decline in seed cotton generation, minimal high-quality of cotton seeds leading to declining yields, and rather higher prices of generation thanks to reduced efficiency.

The level of popularity of polyester, which is much more durable and fewer high priced to develop than cotton, and the importation of 2nd-hand clothes are also to blame.

“To assure high quality cotton seed, it is needed to enhance cotton seed investigation and improvement by making sure that the Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organization(Kalro) is adequately funded for this objective,” states Kippra.

Kippra also needs neighborhood textile apparel industries, and cotton-escalating counties to include improvement programmes for the crop into their County Built-in Improvement Strategies (CIDP).

“The textile business is also experiencing increased enterprise expenditures these types of as superior electricity expenditures, which are eroding their market competitiveness,” Kippra notes.

The publication paperwork that Kenya has 52 textile mills that change (cotton) fibre into yarn, but only 15 are operational.

“Due to low labour productivity and lower technology, functioning textile mills use only 45 for each cent of their ability,” Kippra states.

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