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Kenya: Ailing Cotton Industry Dips Further, Says Report

Published date:
Thursday, 02 December 2004

The Kenyan Government's efforts to revive the ailing cotton industry have failed to spur the sector's growth.

The much-touted African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) that was expected to inspire the once vibrant sector is yet to materialise. Cotton production has dropped from a peak of 70,000 bales in 1984 to mere 30,000 bales last year.

Industry sources say only 10 per cent of the 384,000 hectares previously under cotton cultivation is utilised.

"Although cotton prices have improved since 1991, when the market was liberalised, cotton production in Kenya continues to remain flat," says the World Bank.

The bank that has embarked on an aggressive campaign to revive cotton farming in Africa says most cotton ginneries are also in various states of disrepair. Like many other sub-sectors, cotton farming has suffered from a steady decline in institutional support brought about by liberalisation.

The industry was meant to benefit from the Agoa scheme that allows textile exports to the US duty free.

"The cotton industry was meant to provide raw materials for the local industry but that opportunity is now lost," said Laban Onditi, the vice-chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“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.

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