Farmers in Kwale push for ginnery completion
Over 150 cotton farmers in Kwale County have appealed to the national government to speed up the construction of an in Kinondo Ward, Msambweni Constituency to help them avoid the expenses of transporting cotton to Makueni.
The ginnery whose groundbreaking was presided over by the then Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed in 2019 has since then stalled and farmers in the area have to transport cotton to Makueni after harvest.
Speaking to journalists during a farmers’ field day at Kinondo, Farmers chairman Jackson Ndurya said there is a need for the government to revive the construction since most farmers in the area undertake cotton farming.
“In Kwale County, cotton is grown in three constituencies out of the four. That is Lungalunga, Msambweni and Matuga, and it is growing very well but the major challenge we face is the high cost of transporting cotton to Makueni,” Ndurya said.
He also said that the farmers don’t get any profit after taking cotton to Makueni since they use all the money on transport and only retain a little amount to purchase cotton seedlings.
“We were very happy when the CS for industrialisation Adan Mohammed came here in 2019 for the groundbreaking event thinking that the factory will be done very fast but after groundbreaking nothing else continued and the project has completely stalled,” added Ndurya.
His sentiments were echoed by another cotton farmer Kilalo Ramadhan who added that transporting 20 tonnes of cotton to Makueni costs Sh60,000 which is the profit they get from the sale.
“This time we had good rains and cotton production did very well the farmers are expecting not less than 75,000 tonnes from their harvest and with such a product if our ginnery in the area could be completed we could be making a good profit,” Ramadhan said.
Eddy Chibu, a consultant at the Business for Development organisation also added that their responsibility is to offer advice on governance and backstopping Pamba and Viazi (PAVI) farmers in offering superior farm extension services more so on the adoption of Good Agricultural Practices.