Eldoret textile-maker Rivatex East Africa Ltd has invited ginneries to tender for delivery of 630,000 kilogrammes of cotton lint, providing a much-needed lift to producers.
In the national tender, Rivatex is looking for companies that will partner with local firms.
The tender that closes on September 2 has also requested ginnery operators to provide proof of annual cotton lint output of 10,000 tonnes by providing production reports for the past two years.
“The ginner must be financially sound with liquid asset of at least Sh500 million, own or have active leases for prime mover trucks and must provide samples for testing,” it says.
The Moi University-owned Rivatex was reopened last June after a decade-long closure. Kenya and Indian government sank Sh5 billion in its revival.
Once fully operational, it is expected to generate 3,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs, processing 10,000 bales against a projected capacity of 100,000 bales a day that translate to 40,000 metres of linen daily.
The development restores farmer aspirations of growing cotton as a major cash crop.
Last year, 62 farmer societies sold 12,000 tonnes of cotton with an unknown amount of cotton lint imported from neighbouring countries.
Local garment makers heavily rely on imported material that saw them spend Sh4 billion last year up from Sh2.7 billion in 2017.
Demand for textile is set for growth with Kitui County opening a garment-making factory for civil servant and school uniforms, creating a robust competition for foreign firsms that have traditionally made clothes for the disciplined forces.
The factory, wholly owned by Kitui county government, made 2,804 uniform sets, including ceremonial gear. National Youth Service is also making the new police uniform.
Textile firms based at Export Processing Zones (EPZ) and privately owned garment factories also generate demand for textiles that has been traditionally been imported.