The recent relaunch of Shs 5 billion ultra-modern textile plant in Eldoret opens doors for farmers in the region to invest in cotton farming and take advantage of the huge market that Rivatex presents.
In the NOREB Governors’ Summit held late June, the NOREB secretariat was tasked with implementing a road map towards a working partnership between the regional economic bloc and Rivatex East Africa Limited.
In this regard, the County Executive Members for Trade and their Agriculture counterparts drawn from the eight NOREB member counties met with the management of the ultra-modern giant textile industry in Eldoret.
In the meeting which was also attended by representatives of the University of Eldoret, Agriculture and Food Authority and Export Promotion Council, it was unanimously agreed that the region holds great potential for the production of cotton, while Rivatex has immense demand therefore guarantees market for the commodity.
According to Rivatex Managing Director Prof. Thomas Kipkurgat, at full capacity, the textile plant will need an upwards of 100 bales daily, requiring an approximate 500,000 acres of land to be placed under cotton cultivation if the factory is to be sustained by locally sourced raw material.
In the envisaged MOU whose drafting has been given the nod by the county executive members, NOREB will be coordinating cotton-producing counties in the development of a cotton farmers database, capacity building and sensitization of farmers, extension services, setting up of cotton farming demonstration sites and the facilitation of access to certified seeds and pesticides.
Additionally, Rivatex will work with NOREB in the development of a tailoring curriculum with a view to training youth on tailoring and apparel production. This will be accompanied by the setting up county-based clothes production units that will supply quality apparel to institutions and individual clientele.
In order to enhance the capacity of cotton lint processing in the region, Rivatex and member counties will also chart the way forward on the revival of cotton ginneries and in exploring ways of setting up of new ones as may be necessary.
Today’s meeting came after consultations between NOREB CEO Dr. Dominic Biwott and Rivatex MD. Prof. Thomas Kipkurgat and agreed that a strategic understanding would be mutually beneficial to the region and the textile manufacturer.