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Kenya doubles cotton output target for this year
Sep '12
Kenya has set a cotton production target for the current year, which is double its last year’s output. 
Speaking on the sidelines of the Cotton industry sensitization forum, Anthony Mureithi, Acting CEO of Cotton Development Authority (CODA), said the country that produced 20,000 bales (1 bale = 170 kg) of cotton during last year has set a target of producing 40,000 bales this year, to cater to the domestic demand.
He said the increased production would be achieved through enhanced cooperation with farmers, as presently more than 80,000 small scale farmers are engaged in cotton cultivation in the country.
CODA Production Manager Hesbon Olweny said following liberalization of the Kenyan cotton and textile industry in 1990s, global competition has adversely impacted the country’s cotton industry, and the number of cotton spinning mills operating in the country has reduced to 6 from 52 in the 1990s.
He cited that backed by a strong textile industry, Tanzania each year produces more than 70,000 bales of cotton.
He said Kenya has also devised a strategy to help cotton regain the vital position it once occupied in the economy. Based on this, they are now working with the cotton industry stakeholders to improve the seed varieties to raise the yields from current 600 kg per acre to a minimum 2,500 kg per acre by 2015, he added.
According to Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, while majority of the neighbouring countries depend on large scale farmers for cotton production, a large amount of Kenya’s cotton production comes from small scale farmers, who have still not adapted to modern technologies.
The Ministry said Kenya has a potential to engage over 200,000 farmers, who in turn would directly and indirectly support over 2 million people.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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