The commissioned ultra-modern Rivatex East Africa Limited Textile Production Plant in Eldoret is set to provide an estimated 3000 direct jobs. President Uhuru Kenyatta, accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, Trade CS Peter Munya, Education CS Prof. George Magoha, Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, among other leaders toured the facility on Friday, and President Kenyatta said the availing of jobs will boost the manufacturing pillar of the Big Four. He said the revamp, at an estimated Kshs 5 billion, will boost cotton farming in Kenya.
He said that measures have been put in place to support farmers by creating a ready market and a guaranteed stable price for seed cotton and cotton lint. “Rivatex assures farmers of at least 100,000 bales of lint per year. We project demand of over 140,000 bales of lint per annum, not including export possibilities,” he said.
He further revealed that the government is trying out genetically modified cotton, known as Bt cotton, which is expected to provide better yields compared to conventional cotton. “Production of Bt cotton will undoubtedly boost production for our textile industry and create more sustainable livelihoods,” he said, directing the Ministries of Agriculture, Education, Trade, Environment and Health to fast-track remaining steps towards approval for commercialization of Bt cotton.
On his part, Deputy President William Ruto assured the President that all Jubilee leaders support him in his development agenda. He said the main party agenda was to unite Kenyans regardless of tribal or religious backgrounds and to usher in a new picture, one of development. “We agreed that the political discourse will be changed to development discourse, development projects including roads, this Rivatex project, electricity projects among others. In this, we are 100 percent behind you and we won’t budge.”