The Kenya’s textile and apparel sector has the potential to play a key role in anchoring the country’s deeper movement into middle income status and in serving as a source of gainful employment for its fast growing, young population.
Against the backdrop of waning interest in cotton farming especially in Lamu County, the government of Kenya has indicated moves to encourage disgruntled growers. Cotton farmers in the County want the sector revived, ginneries established and be supplied with certified high yielding seeds so as to reap maximum benefits.
The Kenya Agribusiness and Agroindustry Alliance (KAAA) Chief Executive Officer Lucy Muchoki attended a meeting called by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MoALF) Cabinet Secretary Dr. Willy Bett to deliberate on how to revive cotton growing and textile industry development in Lamu.
The meeting was attended by the deputy Governor who doubles as the Lamu County Executive for agriculture Hon. Eric Mugo, members of Lamu County Assembly and officials from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives (MoITC). The county has a favorable climatical conditions for cotton growing and according to the Deputy Governor, the county has already undertaken the feasibility study.
During the meeting, KAAA was tasked in supporting the development of business plan in order to attract investment for the revamp of the industry since the fibre directorate had already undertaken trials using hybrid seeds developed by Amiran Kenya Limited in order to improve the quality and increase yield.
Textile-apparel presents itself as an economic sector and as a potential spring board to further advancement into manufacturing and has played a substantial role in underpinning the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The Act gives most Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) firms duty free, quota free access to the United States, offering a substantial competitive advantage over other textile-apparel exporting countries.