Kenya’s youth and Women are set to benefit from a biotechnological production of cotton set to be launched this year her government. The project is expected to generate over 50,000 jobs as well as generate Ksh20 billion in apparel export earning this year. The plan, which includes policy review and crafting of new incentive schemes, is also expected to generate 10,000 jobs in the apparel sector.
The project will start with the training of 50,000 youth and women who will engage in biotechnology (BT) cotton production. Additionally, the Kenyan government anticipates expanding the nation’s acreage under cotton to 200,00 hectares up from 29,000 by the end of 2018.
Kenya’s Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich said that it will include policy reviews for the sector and construction of 5 million square feet of industrial parks in 2018. The government wants to reduce the reliance on textile and apparel imports. The country spent Sh26.8 billion to import textile products in the first 10 months of 2017 or 20 percent more than the same period in 2016, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data shows.
BT cotton is resistant to drought and pests. While genetically modified plants are generally banned in Kenya, the National Biosafety Authority gave a nod to open field trials of BT cotton last year.