- Farmers demanding genetically modified Bt cotton with high yield and natural bollworm insecticide.
- Kenya is reviving textile industries and ginneries, making farming worthwhile.
Farmers in South Ngariama settlement scheme in Kirinyaga county are adopting cotton farming with enthusiasm.
They are anxious to plant high yield BT cotton, a genetically modified variety that produces an insecticide to kill bollworms and other pests.
Farmers abandoned cotton more than 20 years ago because returns were poor and quality was damaged by pests, including the bollworm. And there was no domestic textile industry.
Former Kirinyaga Senator Daniel Karaba, now a gentleman farmer, has put tens of irrigated acres under cotton.
He said farmers have realised that the crop can fetch good money now that the government is reviving textile industries.
The former senator said the government has provided farmers with certified seeds that have changed their attitude towards cotton farming.
He said though cotton farming requires a lot of resources, it is a better option especially in the area where residents have depended on maize and horticulture for many years.