Kenya will import two tonnes of certified seeds from Israel to distribute to local smallscale cotton farmers in the coming long rains season as part of efforts to revive the industry.
Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett confirmed Wednesday that government is importing the high yield seeds from Hazera Genetics through Amiran Kenya Limited. Hazera, a global leader in seed industry, is headquartered in Israel.
Bett confirmed that the importation deal is being undertaken with a view to improving local cotton productivity and as well increase farmers’ income base.
“These seeds has undergone mandatory tests by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) and is ready for commercialization,” said Bett.
The seeds will be distributed to farmers for planting during the coming long rains season.
“The yield potential of this seed is 2,000 kilograms per hectare and therefore this is a major step in addressing the yield gap and competitiveness of value chain,” Bett said.
Once proved viable and adaptable to local ecological zones the seeds will be multiplied to enable more farmers access and increase their farming.
The seed importation deal is meant to supplement local initiatives the government is undertaking to produce and commercialize the varieties.
The cotton industry is grappling with numerous challenges such as low production, high production cost, high cost of inputs especially pesticides for producers and power cost for processors. Enditem
Source: David Musyoka, Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh