Cotton was once a large industry in Kenya.  A number of factors regrettably undermined the capacity for smaller scale producers to profitably and sustainably service the market. The subsequent loss of producers, deterioration of cotton quality and falling supply, led to the demise of Kenya’s international cotton market.
Base Titanium Ltd and Business for Development (B4D) with their off-take partner Cotton On intend to develop the capacity for Kenyan farmers to re-enter the international market through the supply of high quality, ethically produced cotton fibre.
In 2014 Cotton trials were implemented to understand the economics of cotton farming in Kwale and to determine cotton lint quality, including measuring fibre strength and colour. Successful yields and excellent quality provide strong indication that this crop has the potential to become an important contributor to agricultural livelihoods in the region. The results were achieved with considerable input from Base Titanium partners namely B4D, DEG, Syngenta and COMPACI and Kwale farmers.
The progress of the project reflects the strong support and guidance from Kwale County Agriculture Department, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) and the Fibre Crops Directorate.
With high quality clothing containing Kwale ethical cotton to be produced and sold internationally, the signals are good that cotton may again become an important export for Kenya (Source: Base Titanium Agricultural Livelihood Programme Brochure; www.basetitanium.com)
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