Cotton farmers in Busia have a reason to smile after receiving seedlings from Rivertex Cotton Programme (RVP)VP in conjunction with the European Union.
The organization has availed seedling in Western and Nyanza counties in efforts to boost the production of the crop and effort to revive cotton industries in support of government big 4 agenda on manufacturing.
This comes days after an outcry from cotton farmers in Busia County highlighting their plights and challenges faced in accessing seedling on time and even threatening to abandon cotton farming.
Jairosi Cotton Farmers Cooperative Society chairman Aggrey Emojong had noted the possibility of significant drop of farmers from the current number of 2015 farmers to 400 if both county and national government do not intervene and help farmers get seedlings on time.
Cotton is planted between July and September according to Emojong and according to his statistics from his cooperative less than 30 farmers had already planted so far.
With the introduction of BT cotton variety that has an inbuilt mechanism to protect itself from caterpillar pests (especially the bollworm), farmers stand to reap better profits from cotton farming.
According to David Aboko RVP regional managers, farmers in western and Nyanza have been encouraged to join cooperatives so that they can channel all their shortcomings in future to get amicable solutions.
Aboko asked the farmers to collect the seedlings from the cooperative and remove fear of the market as they will buy the produce from farmers.
“When we learned of the challenges cotton farmers are facing, RVP came in to address this issue. So far we have provided seedlings, extension services to farmers and demonstration in small plots to enable farmers to get maximum profit,” said Aboko.
Cotton industry targets to register nine thousand farmers in Busia, Homa Bay, Siaya, Kisumu, Bungoma and Kakamega counties, so far six thousand farmers have been registered already.
Busia County through Agriculture Extension Officer Teso South constituency Amos Alieko assured farmers of their full commitment and support to revive cotton farming and industries within the county to help farmers earn big from their efforts.