Commerce

Textile firms urged to adopt new technology to boost productivity

Wednesday, September 21st, 2022 07:56 | By
A woman makes face masks at Rivatex East Africa textile firm in Eldoret, Kenya, April 11, 2020. (Xinhua/Robert Manyara)
A woman makes face masks at Rivatex East Africa textile firm in Eldoret, Kenya, April 11, 2020. (Xinhua/Robert Manyara)

Players in the textile sector have been urged to embrace new technologies so as to enhance their global competitiveness and strengthen the total value chain. Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina said technology and equipment upgrade are critical to the sector’s ability to capitalise on the shifting demands of global buyers.

“Companies that source from Africa are beginning to push factories to utilise technologies that are both more efficient and better for the environment. This need has challenged leading suppliers in Africa to reconsider their processes and how to most effectively “retool” in response to the new industry paradigm,” she said.

Maina said the evolving dynamics of the industry, which includes emphasis for “fast fashion”, is forcing the industry to look at how to get products to market quickly and efficiently to meet rapidly changing tastes and styles.

The CS who is also in charge of trade and enterprise development was speaking during a networking programme organised by the India International Textile Machinery Exhibition Society in Nairobi.

The event brought together players in the Kenyan textile industry and their counterparts from India in preparation for the 11th edition of India International Textile and Manufacturing Expo (ITME 2022) set for December 8 to 13.

Maina said though government action is seen as necessary to set clear parameters for the industry and create a conducive business environment, the companies are largely charting their own path.

“The push for new technology utilisation also has implications for the environment and this includes considerations of water and waste management and treatment, which are, in fact, often prerequisites for sourcing from a given supplier,” said Maina.

Indian technology

Speaking during the event, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) president Richard Ngatia said that since Indian technology is better represented in Kenya, given the recent massive modernisation of the Kenyan Rivatex East Africa Limited textiles mill, players in this sector should join hands with their Indian counterparts to benefit from those technologies.

“I would like to encourage Kenyans who are in this sector to join hands with indian counterparts to ensure  that there is transfer of technology and support to small, medium enterprises through exchange programmes and capacity building,” said Ngatia.  

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