Sustainable revival of Kenya’s Cotton Industry needs an analysis of the cotton-value, identification of weak points and implementing measures to ameliorate key constraints. Various authors have developed and analyzed the value-chain of the Cotton Industry in Kenya and this paper reviews important components of the value-chain with special focus on strengthening the supply of safe, adequate and quality seeds to smallholder farmers as first and immediate priority.
The Government of Kenya has portrayed a strong policy support to increase cotton production in cotton growing counties of Kenya and in December 2019 approved the first commercial release of improved biotech cotton. In addition, the Government enacted laws, regulations and policies to strengthen the cotton value-chain and instituted institutional reforms such establishment of Kenya National Biosafety Authority, The Fiber Directorate, the Cotton Development Authority and revitalization of Rivatex Textile Industry. These excellent efforts need to be synchronized and harmonized for effective and efficient performance of the cotton value-chain especially to enhance the supply of improved quality cotton seeds for smallholder farmers. Because of the introduction of County governments and devolution of Agricultural functions from Central to County governments, it is imperative that two arms of government synchronize activities in Cotton Industry to ensure adequate support for smallholder farmers for key services such as extension services, supply of quality seeds and provision of credit.
Keywords: Cotton industry, quality cotton seeds, policies, regulations, institutional reforms