by David Musyoka
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya will import
two tonnes of certified seeds from Israel to distribute to local
smallscale cotton farmers in the coming long rains season as
part of efforts to revive the industry.
Livestock and Fisheries Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett confirmed
Wednesday that government is importing the high yield seeds from
Hazera Genetics through Amiran Kenya Limited.
Hazera, a global leader in seed industry, is headquartered in
Bett confirmed that the importation deal is being undertaken
with a view to improving local cotton productivity and as well
increase farmers’ income base.
"These seeds has undergone mandatory tests by Kenya Plant
Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) and is ready for
commercialization," said Bett.
The seeds will be distributed to farmers for planting during
the coming long rains season.
"The yield potential of this seed is 2,000 kilograms per
hectare and therefore this is a major step in addressing the
yield gap and competitiveness of value chain," Bett said.
Once proved viable and adaptable to local ecological zones
the seeds will be multiplied to enable more farmers access and
increase their farming.
The seed importation deal is meant to supplement local
initiatives the government is undertaking to produce and
commercialize the varieties.
The cotton industry is grappling with numerous challenges
such as low production, high production cost, high cost of
inputs especially pesticides for producers and power cost for