The cotton farming sector and manufacturing industry in Nyanza are set to receive a major boost following the confirmation that Eldoret-based Rift Valley Textile Ltd (Rivatex) will open a branch in Kisumu County.
The factory, which will be located in Boya, Nyando Sub-County, is expected to employ around 3,000 people. It is a project in partnership with the department of small and medium enterprises, under the Ministry of Industrialisation.
In addition to employment opportunities, it will also promote cotton farming in the region and promote value added agriculture in the region.
Though the news is welcome to the region, whose economy has flat lined for decades, some fear it may complicate the mooted revival of the collapsed Kisumu Cotton Mills (KICOMI). ODM leader Raila Odinga has previously vowed that KICOMI will be revived just as Rivatex was.
The setting up of the factory will help Rivatex go a long way in addressing the rising demand for its products. The company has secured government tenders for uniforms with the Kisumu branch focusing on garment tailoring and stitching.
Factory manager Richard Tanui said that the project will begin with the setting up prefabricated buildings in a few weeks.
“We will be sending 3,000 sewing machines to the new site in the next few weeks, plus initial staff, but with time we will be recruiting local residents.”
Rivatex sources most of its raw materials from 24 counties which grow cotton, majority of which are located in the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB).
“This is what we want to change by empowering farmers and telling them that here we are, the market is here, give us raw materials,” Tanui said.
According to Nyando MP Jared Okello, plans to revive Kicomi remain in place but such a move will complement Kicomi’s eventual production capacity.
Source(s): Daily Nation
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