TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Kenya: Big Cotton Deficit Curbs AGOA Trade

Saturday, 27 November 2004

Source: The Nation (Nairobi)

Kenya records a deficit of 100,000 bales of cotton annually. It cannot meet local and foreign demand with the 20,000 bales it produces yearly. Domestic consumption is 120,000 bales.

Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) managing director Bartholomew Wanyama questioned the inability of Kenya to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), extended to 2007.

The deal allows Kenya to export duty-free cotton products to the US.

In the last four years more than Sh6.9 billion has been invested in the textile sector, he said.

Industry players have cited low pay and poor seeds as the reasons behind the decline in the crop.

Yesterday, the LBDA boss announced that the authority would address the issue of seed quality and availability.

In a speech read by his deputy, Mr John Okello, during a workshop at Kisumu's Sunset Hotel, Mr Wanyama said LBDA would distribute 75 tonnes of cotton seed, enough to cover 15,000 acres.

Meanwhile, cotton ginneries and textile millers in Western Kenya are trading accusations at each other over the decline of the crop.

On the receiving end are the farmers, who are unhappy with the low rates paid. They want to stop cultivating the crop.

The bone of contention is the blame the ginneries are pushing on the millers for the low rates, something they say, trickles down to the farmer.

Yesterday, the millers and the ginneries would not agree on the issue of price at Sunset Hotel.

The meeting brings together farmers, the Investment Promotion Council, the Ministry of Agriculture and the LBDA.

But pricing has diverted its agenda, with farmers saying they cannot cash in on the Agoa initiative at the current rates.

"The millers should tell us what their profit margin is. We will not suffer the wrath of farmers for a mistake not our own," charged Mr Paul Abuor, managing director of Kisumu Cotton Holdings.

“AGOA Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Kenya’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.