Kenyan govt to provide subsidies and training to revive cotton farming

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2017-03-09 16:30:00 – Africa

The Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture to revive cotton farming which is mainly practiced by small holder farmer to give farmers subsidized seeds, training and partnering with local and international players to lobby for better business environment. They are employing and implementing solutions that will allow to revive the sector.

The ministry will introduce new irrigation methods to enable it cultivate 100,000 hectares by 2021. Kenya's average cotton production per hectare is lower than the world's average due to higher cost of input and little mechanization.

The country's average yield per hectare is 572 kilos against the world's average of 726 kilos, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said in a speech read by the ministry's director of crop management Johnson Irungu.

There is about 384,500 hectares of irrigated and rain-fed land for cotton farming, with only 10.4 percent under irrigation.

The government will also enhance relationships with researchers to advise on the seeds that will produce quality cotton. Also three new varieties of seeds are certified, which are resistant to pests such as termites.

Kenya will import two tonnes of certified seeds from Israel to distribute to local smallscale cotton farmers in the coming long rains season as part of efforts to revive the industry. The importation deal is being undertaken with a view to improving local cotton productivity and as well increase farmers’ income base.

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