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Kenya to revive ailing cotton sector

Kenya is planning to modernise Rivatex factories and adopt high-yielding seeds to revive the ailing cotton sector. Through this upgrade, whose cost will add up to Sh3 billion by the end of the year, the textile firm plans to spur production from the current 1 tonne of lint, equivalent to 6,000 metres, to over 12 tonnes or 40,000 metres of finished products in a day.

Rivatex currently consumes 10 bales of cotton daily, but this is expected to increase to 70 bales once modernisation of equipment is complete. Kenya wants to take advantage of global markets with the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to change the fortunes of the sector. Under AGOA, goods of more than 6,000 product lines, mainly textile and apparel, accounting for 65 per cent of the total exports, are granted quota and duty-free access to the US market.

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