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Cotton finds saviour in UN body
Feb '10
Kenyan cotton is being marketed worldwide by a United Nations agency on international trade, with a view to boost the declining production and export in a move that would also incite sector's growth.

Earnings of farmers have witnessed a fall over the years, as the textile sector in Kenya lasted on lowered farming and marketing techniques.

The International Trade Centre (ITC), an associate of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, which works towards aiding businesses to make them more viable in developing countries, stated that it has launched an online cotton exporter's guide which would ease African countries efforts to promote their crop.

Kenya being a marginal performer, it would like to revitalize its sector and be a vital player once again. Cotton stakeholders will be able to get things right with the help of this guide. This will aid them to learn from other countries and make themselves capable to deal with issues like contamination and virus infestation right from its root, Mr. Matthias Knappe, the ITC programme manager for cotton, textiles and clothing said.

As per the data released by the US Department of Agriculture, Kenya's cotton production dropped to about 20,000 bales in 2009 as against an all-time high of 70,000 bales in 1986.

Analysts have attributed the liability for fall in production on reasons like, inferior farming techniques and substandard seeds, prolonged payments to farmers, pests and high production costs compelling most of the farmers to stop growing their crop.

The government, as a part of the policy to revitalize the sector, plans to introduce pest resistant varieties. Cotton farmers are of the view that involvement of UN agency will lead to increased production and will bring recognition to cultivators in international market.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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