The Principal Secretary of the Industry Ministry, Juma Mukhwana has promised to revive the textile industry in Kenya.
Speaking on Friday at Rivatex Textile factory in Eldoret, the PS said that in the last 3 years, the Government of Kenya has invested over 5 billion in Rivatex Textile Mills.
Mukhwana said the challenge has been the lack of cotton and other support infrastructure such as ginneries.
He said that this year the government has budgeted Sh200 million to support cotton farming.
The PS appealed to farmers in Western, Nyanza and Eastern provinces to grow cotton to support Rivatex and the country to go back to profitable textile manufacturing and export.
He revealed Kenya is exporting quota and duty-free textiles to the USA and that it could not satisfy the market.
"There is a huge unsatisfied demand for our textiles and apparel in the USA and Europe," Mukhwana said.
He revealed that during his recent trip to the USA with President William Ruto, the president lobbied the USA Government and Congress to extend AGOA by another 10 years; adding that the request is receiving a favourable response from the US Government.
He asked Kenyans to invest heavily in cotton farming, ginning, weaving and spinning to support the sector.
"This sector can be a game changer for Kenya," he added.
"Despite challenges being faced, the sector is exporting goods worth 34 billion in one year and we can do more. Textile is the leading by Kenya to the USA."
"One kilo of cotton is currently being bought by the government at Sh360 and we have a massive shortage of cotton," Mukwhana said.
He requested counties that are in the traditional cotton growing belt to support the growth of the crop.
These include Bungoma, Busia, Siaya, Home bay, Machakos, Makueni and Kwale among others.
According to Mukhwana, the sector currently employs 50, 000 Kenyans and Mukhwana revealed that the government aims to expand the sector to employ 500,000 people in the next 5 years.