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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Kenyan cotton sector opposes imports of duty free fabrics

The cotton and textile industry stakeholders have opposed and raised concerns over the Kenyan government’s decision to import duty-free fabrics.

“This decision will devastate cotton farming which is being gradually revived in several regions of Kenya, and also cripple textile industries who are already struggling to survive,” media reports stated.

They also said that the revival program of Rivatex, a large textile mill being revived through the modernization of machinery, would suffer, and supporting farmers is also crucial to ensure the availability of local cotton.

“Farmers are committed to supplying cotton enough to meet domestic needs but need government support, and the decision to import duty-free fabrics will cripple cotton farmers,” they said.

“Imports of used garments and fabrics hurt domestic industries and will lead to job losses if these duty-free imports are allowed,” said Tejal Dodhia, MD at Thika Cloth Mills.

“Importing fabrics duty-free will result in job losses for farmers and textile industry workers. It is important to hold close the ‘Buy Kenya, Build Kenya’ slogan,” Dodhia stated.

“Modernisation of our textile plant is 97 percent complete. The new technology will increase our capacity and quality,” Rivatex Managing Director Thomas Kipkurgat said.

Kipkurgat urged all stakeholders to reject the proposal to import fabrics duty-free into the country.

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