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HomeUncategorizedVoi EPZ set to revitalize cotton farming in Taita Taveta

Voi EPZ set to revitalize cotton farming in Taita Taveta

KNA Cotton farming in Taita Taveta may be up for a new good turn following the advanced plans to establish Voi Export Processing Zone (EPZ) at Ndii.



Announcing the first expression of interest by Royal Garment Industries EPZ Limited to invest in the Voi EPZ, Governor Granton Samboja said that the industrialization efforts at the county spearheaded by the national government will positively impact a range of sectors with cotton farming in best position to reap big.



The governor lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta’s grassroots industrialization agenda, which has been keen on creating and expanding manufacturing capabilities in the counties to improve livelihoods through the creation of employment opportunities.


“We’re thankful to President Uhuru Kenyatta for his industrialization agenda, which has now given us the Voi EPZ. We will have jobs for over 2,000 locals and the impact across sectors will be immense,” stated Governor Samboja.



Taita Taveta has a huge cotton-growing potential especially in Njukini, Eldoro, and Kidoghoto in Taveta Sub-county and Kishushe in Wundanyi Sub-county. In recent years, farmers have shunned growing cotton following fluctuating, and typically low prices in the local market, and exorbitant cotton seeds’ prices.



The Voi EPZ may be the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel for cotton farmers in Taita Taveta as it will create huge demand for the product and greatly improve prices.



Speaking to KNA today, Johnstone Mwashighadi, a former cotton farmer from Kishushe said he had given up on cotton farming due to poor prices but he may be persuaded to start over if the Voi EPZ delivers better and competitive prices.



“I had been growing cotton for fifteen years but I gave up due to poor prices. But now that the planned Voi EPZ will be creating high demand and better prices for the commodity, I may be persuaded to start farming cotton again,” said Mr. Mwashighadi.



The national government is now keen to offer extension services to help cotton farmers across the country grow better varieties of cotton and educating them on better crop husbandry.


Cotton farming in Kenya has a massive economic potential that remains largely untapped with only 200,000 small-scale farmers growing the crop countrywide.


According to the Cotton Development Authority’s estimation, Kenya has 400, 000 hectares for rain-fed cotton production with a potential production capacity of 260,000 bales of lint annually.



A further 34,500 hectares can be put under irrigation to produce 108, 000 bales of lint annually. Some of the action points by the national government to protect local cotton farmers and markets have been seen in the imposing of 100 per cent duty on imported cotton goods.



  Local cotton farming can supply 70 per centt of lint used in Kenya, in turn, growing the textile industry and creating a gush of employment opportunities.



On the positive side, the last seven years have seen a significant recovery of the cotton farming industry largely due to the national government’s financial support and the agenda to spur manufacturing activities at the grassroots.



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