Cotton farmers from across the country are set to benefit from Friday’s commissioning of high capacity cotton processing factory Rivatex by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The commissioning comes just after the introduction of the genetically modified high yielding variety Bt cotton.
It is expected that over 500,000 people will get employed directly and indirectly.
The revived factory which currently relies mainly on imports is banking on improved production to meet its capacity which is double its first one before it collapsed.
The launch of the factory is set to open opportunities for farmers across the country including Makueni, Kwale, Kitui, Nyanza, Western and Machakos.
The cotton industry has a long value chain, from production, ginning, spinning, weaving, garment and non-apparel making as well as production in peripheral industries such as oil, animal feed and production of sanitary wares.
Farmers in Makueni which have been producing about 1,425 tones using traditional varieties are now targeting over 10,000 tonnes with the Bt cotton variety.
Makueni County Governor Kivutha Kibwana had agreed with agriculture ministry to set aside funds for the project. Makueni had also invested in farmer sensitization and education.
The Bt variety is resistant to army worms.
The government has set a price of Sh52 a kilogram.
New opportunities are also in lack of enough cotton ginneries. It is estimated that less than 10 ginneries have been opened against a potential of 23.