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Kenya: Policy measures to enhance value addition

Published date:
Monday, 08 October 2007

The minister for Trade and Industry Mukhisa Kituyi has said the sale of Rivatex to Moi University and the re-opening of its operations by president Mwai Kibaki on Thursday will help revive the cotton industry and lead to capacity development in textile engineering in the country.

The minister said the government acknowledged the efforts made by the university in taking over Rivatex with the aim of reviving it saying the move was a step towards vertically integrating the sector.

Kituyi who was opening the national conference on value addition in the cotton and textile sector in Kenya challenged cotton industry stakeholders to reflect on the various recommendations and initiatives undertaken in the sector with a view to charting out the best way forward in making cotton and the textile industry viable in the country.

He challenged the conference to review research done by KIPPRA and the ministry of Trade and Industry on value addition in the cotton sector and to consider policy measures to be adopted in order to enhance value addition.

The conference is also expected to focus on developing an understanding and consensus on the current status of the cotton and textile industry, provide highlights of the key findings of the study and to seek the stakeholders' inputs on the recommendations made.

The conference will also facilitate in-depth and honest discussions on modalities of enhancing the competitiveness of the cotton-textile industry with a view to developing concrete action points to revitalize the industry in addition to coming up with the most appropriate means of value adding at all levels and build consensus on the role of various key stakeholders and actors.

He said the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has led to increase in the apparel exports but said the sector was not vertically integrated hence benefits to the country have been minimal as most of the apparel manufacturers import most of their fabric.

He further said opportunities in export of hand loomed, hand made and ethnic printed products have not been fully exploited despite the fact that AGOA provided for duty free export of the same and changed the conference to come up with ways of utilizing the opportunity.

The conference that brought together various stakeholders in the cotton and textile industry including manufactures, relevant government departments, ginners, research institutions and farmers is expected to come up with recommendations that will be presented by the minister to president Kibaki on the way forward for the cotton industry which is believed to be among key areas that will lead to the revitalized economy by 2030.

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