Kenyan govt to begin mitumba phase-out plan

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-06-23 14:00:00 – Nairobi

The Kenyan government to start implementing a plan from next month to reduce the impact of second-hand clothes on the local textile industry, commonly known as mitumba.

Rajeev Arora, the adviser for textile value chain at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives at the launch of a report on Kenya's textile and fashion industry said the government will supply clothes produced at EPZ to mitumba traders, and they will retail at the same price as imported second-hand clothes.

According to the report, the local industry is made up largely of SMEs, at least 75,000 of them, with exports of mitumba at Sh100 million and mitumba imports valued at Sh1.56 billion in 2014.

Rajeev further said that they can effectively produce goods to compete with imported second hand clothes. This follows reduction of duty for goods coming from the Economic Processing Zone in Athi River, hence reducing the cost of doing business and making apparels from the EPZ more affordable to Kenyans.

According to Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, Kenyans need to ‘acquire new clothes and shoes’ from the EPZ at affordable prices. This is Jubilee’s anti-dote for the flooding of Kenyan market with second-hand clothes, popularly known as mitumba which have choked the country’s textile and apparent industry. However, the Government needs to do some reality checks if this initiative is to succeed.

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