• Ten agricultural extension officers have been recruited in each of the wards to train and guide the growers on the best farming practices.
• Some 11,253 acres will be planted in the first phase in the county.
Cotton farmers in Busia have been allowed to start collecting subsidised fertiliser and Bt cotton seeds ahead of the planting season.
The 20,891 bags of fertiliser and 15,668 kilos of Bt cotton seeds will be collected from selected depots. The Bt cotton seeds were delivered to the county on August 4.
The fertiliser and seeds will be distributed to farmers who were registered in the seven subcounties of Busia to pilot the cotton revival project in the race to produce three million kilos of lint and six million kilos of cotton seed cake.
According to a circular seen by the Star, farmers from Samia subcounty registered under Namasali Farmers’ Cooperative Society in Agenga/ Nanguba ward and those listed under Olima Farmers’ Cooperative Society at Namboboto/ Nambuku ward will receive the products to facilitate cotton planting on 949 acres.
The farmers will collect the fertiliser and seeds at the warehouse at Mulwanda Cooperative Society, according to the circular.
In neighbouring Bunyala subcounty, farmers registered with All Bunyala Farmers’ Cooperative Society will collect the seeds and fertiliser at NIA warehouse.
Beneficiary farmers in the subcounty are those from Bunyala North ward. Those in other wards will wait for the second phase of the project to profit.
In Matayos, growers from Matayos South ward will collect fertiliser and cotton seeds from ATC Store in Busia town.
Samia, Bunyala and Matayos will receive 1,424 kilos of seeds and 1,899 bags of fertiliser each. Every subcounty is allocating 949 acres for the inaugural project.
Besides, the three will also be planting C571 BGII cotton variety, which experts say is fast-maturing.
In Butula, beneficiary farmers from Marachi North ward will pick the inputs from the store room at the deputy county commissioner’s office.
Unlike farmers in Matayos, Samia and Bunyala, those in Butula drawn from Rural Local Industries and Agribusiness Sacco will receive C569 cotton variety. The farmers will also receive 1,424 kilos of cotton seed and 1,899 bags of fertiliser.
In Teso North, the farmers were drawn from Malaba North and Malaba Central wards.
Growers from Malaba North registered with Jairos Cotton Farmers Cooperative Society will collect the fertiliser and seeds from the Ang’urai Fertiliser and Grain Depot while those in Mabala Central listed under Teso Dairy Cooperative Society will pick the products from Malaba NCPB depot.
In the project, Malaba North ward will be issued with two cotton seed varieties – the fast-maturing C571 and MAHYCO C567 where 510 acres will be put under C571 production as 439 acres accommodate MAHYCO.
Fertiliser allocated for Malaba North is 1,020 bags to support the growing of C571 while 879 bags will be consumed in gardens earmarked for the planting of MAHYCO C567.
The ward has been allocated 765 kilos for C571 and 659 kilos for MAHYCO.
In Teso South, members of the Adungosi Cotton Farmers Cooperative Society (Chakol South ward) and those from Lukolis Cotton Farmers Cooperative (Amukura West ward) have been registered for the project. The growers will collect seeds and fertiliser from the container facility at the deputy county commissioner’s compound in Amukura.
Similar to Teso North, Teso South will receive two cotton varieties for planting – MAHYCO C567, which will be delivered in Chakol North ward and the slow maturing C569 which will be planted by farmer in Amukura West.
The plan in the subcounty is to plant C567 in 775 acres supported by 1,163 kilos of seed as the MAHYCO variety gets planted on 174 acres. The county government has allocated 261 kilos of seed of MAHYCO for the same.
In Nambale, farmers will collect fertiliser and planting material at the Nambale Cooperative Society Warehouse. Beneficiary farmers were listed in the wards of Bukhayo East and Nambale Township under the umbrella of Madibo New Vision Cooperative Society and Nambale Cotton Farmers Cooperative, respectively.
The subcounty will also receive two cotton varieties to boost production – C569 and C571.
C569 will be planted on 952 acres supported by 1,428 kilos of seed and 1,904 bags of fertiliser as C571 is planted on 949 acres with 1,424 kilos of seed and 1,899 bags of fertiliser.
National Cereals and Produce Board Western region manager Esther Chege in the circular said the allocation of cotton seeds per ward was based on the available quantities.
The release of Bt cotton seed to farmers came less than a week after State House spokesman Hussein Mohamed said at least 11 cooperatives had been selected from the county to benefit from the project in the push to turn around cotton production.
“It is important to note that the cotton project will act as a template to enhance other agriculture value chains such as dairy, tea, rice, edible oils and leather, among others,” he said.
Some 12,000 Kenyans, he said, have been registered as cotton farmers on the Kenya Integrated Agriculture Management Information System.
Meanwhile, 10 agricultural extension officers have been recruited in each of the wards to train and guide the growers on the best farming practices.
This will ensure the production is increased from about 300 kilos per acre to at least 800 kilos.
Some 11,253 acres will be planted in the first phase in the county, with the ultimate objective being to put 42,000 acres under cotton production in the county.