|Locally known as Pamba (Swahili). World wide there are about 33 million hectares of cotton crops. Until now, mostly brown, green and beige varieties had been cultivated.|
|Varieties||Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium barbadense|
|Seed Rate||11-14 kg/ha|
|Fertilizer Rate||150 kgs/ha of Phosphorus; 200 kgs/ha of Nitrogen|
|Planting Spacing||20 cm between plants and 60-70 cm between rows with plant population of 50,000 and 60,000 plants per ha. Thinned later.|
|Husbandry||In its early stages of growth, cotton requires an arid climate with a plentiful supply of water. The seeds should be sown at a depth of maximum 5 cm. Cotton is either planted on flat soil, ridges or in furrows. The seeds should be watered as soon as possible after sowing. Weed early and frequently. Place manure some 6 weeks after sowing. Cotton should not be grown for more than 3 years on the same field. It should be rotated.|
|Pest & Diseases||Pest Name||Symptoms||Control|
|Cotton Helopeltis||Bright red or yellowish-red bugs seen on the tree||Use insecticides|
|Anthracnose||Seedling blight, boll rot and fibre staining||Crop Rotation|
|Maturity Duration||4-6 months|
|Climatic Conditions||Cotton performs best in desert climates, under irrigation. It grows on lowland below 1000 m. The optimum temperature for germination is 34°C and the average rainfall is usually 800-1200 mm. Its grown on a variety of soils from light sandy soils to heavy alluvium and calcareous clays with a pH 5.5 – 8.5. Cotton is salt-tolerant crops.|
|Harvesting||Cotton is hand picked. It also produces clean seed cotton that can be ginned easily and cheaply in low-cost ginneries. Picking is very laborious. It should be done every 3-4 weeks, so that open cotton is not left in the field for too long which may result in a change of the colour and reduced the quality of the lint. Harvesting begins about 4 months after sowing, lasts for 2 months and 2-3 pickings are usually done.|
|Post Harvest and Storage||Cotton is sorted into clean and stained cotton before marketing.|
|Growing Regions||Nyanza, Eastern and Coastal regions.|
|Expected yields||1000 kg of cotton/ha (Lint 30%, Seed 65%)|
|Processing||Seeds are pressed for oil to make Soaps and lubricants. Seed Cakes and shells processed into animal feedLint cotton is ginned to make fabrics.|
|Place||Marketed locally and also exported.|
|Price||Kshs. 40 for seed cottonKshs 100 for Lint cotton|
|Products / By Products||Lint cotton for Fibre, Seed Cake for fodder or manure, Edible Oil and Shells for fodder and fuel|
|Nutritional value – per 100 g / % Daily Values||Seeds are rich in proteins|
FACTS & FIGURES
|80% of cotton in Kenya is imported.Gujarat, India is the top producer of cotton|
|Income Per Hectare: Kshs 56,000 (300*100/-+650*40/-)Cost per Hectare: Kshs. 16,000 (30% of Income).
NET: Kshs. 40,000 (670% of Income).
Break Even Yield (Where Cost=Income): = 300 kgs per hectare.
Income Frequency: Twice per year. Thrice under irrigation.