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Kenya putting in place measure to increase cotton output to 140,00 bales

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-01-17 14:00:00 – Nairobi

Cotton production of Kenya stood at approximately 30,000 bales in 2014 an increase from 2013, when production stood at 22,000 bales due to the effects of drought, was informed Agriculture Fisheries and Food Authority (AFFA) Interim Head of Fibre Crops Directorate Anthony Muriithi in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Muriithi at the Pre-Launch of the Application of the Coffee Kenya Mark of Origin said that despite production deficit, Kenya exports five percent of its cotton produce to nations such as China. They are currently putting in place measure to ensure that Kenyan farmers increase cotton production in order to meet local demand which stands at 140,000 bales.

One of the key challenges that affects cotton production is the lack of access to certified seed.

The Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization will begin to breed high yielding varieties in order to assist farmers to increase cotton output.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries, Kenya’s average cotton yield stands at 572 kilogrammes per hectare against an international average of 800 kgs. In fact, Kenya has a comparative advantage in the value addition of cotton,.

The government is now encouraging cotton growing in the irrigation schemes as in most of the East Africa nation’s cotton production is produced by small scale farmers who practice rain-fed agriculture.

The fiber directorate to avoid exploitation by the middlemen will be making endeavor to bring farmers together in groups so that they pool their resources to set up cottages industries.

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