TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Kenya in fresh bid to revive cotton growing

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 Published: | Mwaniki Wahome

Source: Daily Nation (Kenya)

Cotton farmers will be provided with certified seeds in a fresh bid by the government to increase production of the crop and boost the textile industry.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority Director-General Alfred Busolo said the objective is to enable the country take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunities Act (Agoa) that allows local apparel access to America duty free. Some 750 tonnes of cotton seed will be provided to producers in growing zones this season.

He was speaking Tuesday during a fibre conference at Utalii College, Nairobi, meant to find out from the cotton and sisal stakeholders necessary policies to promote the two crops as anchors to industrialisation.

Cotton production has remained below the national demand due to unstable international prices and high cost of production.

Currently, the country produces an average of 25,000 bales against a demand of 200,000 bales, with the deficit covered through imports from neighbouring countries of Uganda and Tanzania and from the Far East.

"The country has partially benefited from Agoa market through garment making using apparel raw materials sourced through a window provided in the pact in which enterprises producing for export are allowed to import raw materials from other eligible country (third country fabric provision)," he said.

Import duties have to be paid

Mr Busolo said since import duties have to be paid by enterprises producing for export within the Export Processing Zones, only wages paid to Kenyan operators and workers contribute to Kenya's value addition in the fibre conversion production system.

"This denies Kenyan cotton producers and processors the full benefits of the Agoa arrangement," he said.

Agriculture Principal Secretary Sicily Kariuki said about 50 per cent of the lint used in EPZA is imported in spite of a 28 per cent jump in earnings that rose from Sh20.5 billion in 2008 to Sh26.4 billion in 2012.

View related news articles

'The opportunities are vast in a potential US-Kenya FTA'

'The opportunities are vast in a potential US-Kenya FTA'

Last year, the U.S. and Kenya announced the launch of free trade negotiations, the first of its kind between the U.S. and a sub-Saharan Africa country. If successful, it would be the most significant trade development in the region since the enactment of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade preference program in 2000. To better understand the key issues...

06 May, 2021
Report: A look at the potential benefits and challenges of a US – Kenya trade agreement

Report: A look at the potential benefits and challenges of a US – Kenya trade agreement

The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Kenya has partnered with the U.S. Africa Business Centre (USAfBC) and Covington to publish a business trade report. The report, titled US-Kenya Trade Negotiations: Implications for the Future of the U.S.-Africa Trade Relationship, examines the challenges and benefits of a potential free trade agreement (FTA) between the...

30 April, 2021
Kenya: 'Uhuru–Blinken talks a breath of life to US trade deal'

Kenya: 'Uhuru–Blinken talks a breath of life to US trade deal'

Trade talks between Kenya and the US could resume soon following Tuesday's virtual meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. This is after a five-month break occasioned by change of g-uard in the US as President Joe Biden took over from Donald Trump after last November’s elections. The settling down of the Biden administration put...

29 April, 2021
'Biden Administration dampens Kenya's hopes for bilateral trade deal'

'Biden Administration dampens Kenya's hopes for bilateral trade deal'

The Biden administration's plans to review foreign trade policy and refocus it on America's economic recovery have thrown long-running free trade negotiations with Kenya into disarray. In a development that casts doubts on the future of a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with Kenya, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai has informed Kenyan Minister...

05 April, 2021
'Uncertainty around Kenya-US Free trade deal'

'Uncertainty around Kenya-US Free trade deal'

A cloud of uncertainty has engulfed Kenya’s pursuit of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States due to the impending change of guard at the White House.  Even before he takes office, President-elect Joe Biden has sent strong indications of plans to annul many of President Donald Trump’s policies, cutting across trade, environment and geopolitics...

18 January, 2021
Kenya exports to US climb to Sh67 billion

Kenya exports to US climb to Sh67 billion

Kenyan exports to America under the Africa Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) hit Sh67 billion last year, a marginal increase of 3.7 per cent from Sh64 billion recorded in the previous year. According to the latest report from the Office of the US Trade Representative, Kenya emerged the fourth exporter under Agoa, after Nigeria (Sh310 billion), South Africa (Sh200 billion) and...

30 December, 2020