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Kenya to revive Textile mill with Indian grant
27
Jul '16
Kenya has put in place elaborate measures to revive its ailing cotton industry as well as modernise the state-owned Rivatex Textile mill with the help of a 2.9 billion Kenyan Shilling ($ 30 million) grant from India.

The latest initiative is aimed at providing farmers with high yielding variety of seeds from Israel that produce quality cotton lint for better returns and offer investors better margins. It also entails upgrading the Eldoret-based textile miller, Rivatex with latest technology, said Julius Korir, Industry and Enterprise Development Principal Secretary.

The government has launched a pilot programme under which hybrid cotton seeds from Israel would be sown on 500 acres of land in Bura, Tana River County and plans to scale it up to other cotton-growing areas once it becomes successful, Korir said.

The first planting will begin in September. Korir said adding that the upgraded Rivatex will offer a ready market to the farmers.

The budget for modernization of Rivatex was 40 billion KSh or $40 million, of which $ 10 million has been factored over the last two years by the Kenyan government and Ksh 2.9 billion ($ 30 million) had been secured from the Indian government, Korir said.

“We signed an agreement with the Indian Government for an extension of about Sh 2.9 billion funding to Rivatex so that it can now modernise. We hope that in the next two years, Rivatex will be a state-of-the art factory,” he said.

The cotton industry in Kenya slumped from its high in the 1970s and 1980s when the sector used to receive subsidies from the Government. It was liberalised in the early 1990s. About 78,000 bales of cotton lint were produced annually before liberalisation. These have since gone down to a paltry 4,000 bales nowadays, media reports said. (SH)

 

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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