-The Sh.100m project has received Sh. 20million for Phase 1
-Once completed, Cotton farmers will now gin their cotton in Lamu
-The project has potential to inject over Sh.1billion to farmers and the Lamu economy
Lamu County’s journey to revive the struggling cotton industry has kicked off in high gear.
Plans are underway to construct a Sh.100 million ginnery, the Lamu Cotton Ginnery, at Sinambio Area.
To commence, the Lamu Cotton Ginnery, to be managed by the Lamu County Cotton Farmers Cooperative has received a Sh.20 million funding support from the Lamu County Government, through the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP) for large infrastructure projects.
The County government has also allocated 15 acres of land at Sinambio Village, and formed a six-man Committee of 3 Engineers, 2 Agricultural officers and a Cooperative officer to facilitate with the architectural design and planning of the ginnery.
Speaking at the Lamu County headquarters in Mokowe, Governor Fahim Twaha said the ginnery will be an important equation in the County’s long-term Cotton industrialisation agenda that seeks to improve cotton farming through mechanisation, value addition and marketing.
“Lamu County produces the best Cotton in Kenya. Our agenda is to create an enabling environment for farmers to help them scale up to the next level of the cotton industry, which is ginning and garment production,” said Fahim.
He said the County’s support will enable the Cooperative execute the first Phase of the project.
“The project is guaranteed to receive Sh. 20 million every year for five years from the County, but we project an injection of more capital to speed up construction of the ginnery and other related components, “said the Governor.
Once complete, the project will feature a 3-gin ginnery with capacity to process 20,000 metric tonnes of cotton fibre annually from Lamu farmers, saving them from unfavorable middle-men pricing while increasing the sector’s value addition.
According to Lamu County Cotton Farmer Cooperative Chairperson Joseph Migwi, the actualisation of the Lamu Cotton ginnery project will be a huge milestone for farmers, 22 years after the project’s conception .
“We are very close to breaking ground. The engineers have completed the land topography survey, the architectural drawings and bill of quantities (BQ), and are compiling a report which will pave way for vertical infrastructure construction,” said Mr. Migwi.
He added: “The actualisation of this project will see a multiplier effect on not only the income streams of cotton farmers but provide County wide opportunities.Potentially, it could generate over Sh.1 billion annually for the Lamu economy.”
The ginnery is a component of the proposed Lamu Cotton Industry Park, approximated to cost Sh. 700 million, when done. The Industrial Park will comprise other components including garmet and fibre making.
Beyond cotton processing, said Migwi, the lint produced will help farmers target the local market with bandages, sanitary towels, towels and T-shirts which are majorly procured from foreign markets.
The seed cake from the cotton will also produce edible oils for the retail industry and animal feeds for local and national livestock industry.
Hongwe MCA James Komu has lauded the County government for their leadership on the cotton industrialisation agenda.
“This journey to create an enabling cotton infrastructure will create a huge impact on the value chain, because the County has enhanced provision of disease-resilient hybrid seed and outlined strategies to protect farmers from middle-men,” said Komu.