The government has started the revival of pyrethrum and cotton farming in the country. This move is anticipated to provide the necessary raw materials for industrialization under the big4 agenda.
Speaking at a Nairobi hotel while receiving the Cotton and Pyrethrum taskforce report, the Ministry of Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS) Peter Munya said that pyrethrum and cotton are some of the major raw materials for agro-processing and that industries cannot be revived if the country is to rely on imports from other countries.
The CS indicated that the Ministry has already started reviving cotton by providing high quality seeds to farmers, noting that they now plan to upscale this and ensure that the complete revival, where major growers will be producing at the optimum, is done by 2025.
“We want to launch the revival of pyrethrum in Nakuru and some of the resources will be available within the current financial year to kick start the process. These industries will create job opportunities for our youth and farmers as well,” said Munya.
The CS also noted that while Kenya was once the global leader in pyrethrum production, it currently does not feature anywhere, adding that the seeds and technologies being used by the current leading producers originated from Kenya.
“If we are not careful with what we are doing in our agriculture we will continue losing, if we continue tolerating bad governance and corruption the same case that happened to cotton and pyrethrum will happen to our coffee and tea,” said Munya.
Munya noted that our economy is still agricultural based and warned that if we forget about the sector and focus on other things then we cannot achieve real economic transformation.
“About 60 percent of raw materials utilized in our industries are agro based and we can therefore not talk of industrialization if agriculture is not transformed to ensure that the primary stakeholder who is the farmer earns a reasonable income to compel them to re-invests in agriculture.” said Munya.
He noted that that the government is investing a lot on infrastructure development like roads and rail, and point out that there is also need to revive the production sectors so as to maximize use of these infrastructure which will bring about economic growth through the created jobs.