Web Exclusive | February 2019
Rivatex signs deal with Kenya’s cotton farmers
Kenya’s cotton farmers in Kerio Valley have finalised a deal with Rift Valley Textiles (Rivatex) to sell its produce to the company. As per the agreement, Rivatex will offer certified cotton seeds and pesticides to the farmers and purchase the produce. The farmers have suffered a lot due to poor marketing and many have abandoned the crop.
Farmers there had been complaining of exploitation from middlemen who buy their produce at measly prices. Around 300 farmers in the valley grow cotton.
Though the crop thrived in the region, many farmers had abandoned it due to lack of market and persistent pests and diseases. According to Rivatex managing director Thomas Kipkurgat, the company would partner with Elgeyo Marakwet County to increase supply of raw materials.
The industry ministry said cotton production has remained below the national demand due to unstable international prices and high cost of production. It is targeting to put more than 50,000 acres in Elgeyo Marakwet under cotton.