Problems facing cotton farming in east Africa

Problems facing cotton farming in East Africa

COTTON in Uganda is grown in Gulu, Lira, Soroti, Tororo, Oyam, Dokolo, Amolatar, Kaberamaido, Iganga, Kasese, Apac and Kamuli.

In Kenya, it is grown in the Nyanza province near Kisumu and Bungoma.

In Tanzania, it is grown near Tabora, Kondoa region and in Sukuma land

Problems facing cotton farming

  • Pest e.g. cotton boll weevils and cotton stainers which destroy large parts of farms leading to losses.
  • Cotton diseases e.g. leaf rust also lead to poor quality output.
  • Political instability especially in northern Uganda that disrupted cotton cultivation for a very long time.
  • Climatic hazards like flooding due to heavy rains or hailstorms that destroy large parts of farmlands.

  • The collapse of cotton gunneries and factories which reduces the market for cotton.
  • Inadequate storage facilities hence loss of cotton.
  • Poor transport facilities linking to market centres.
  • Competition with synthetic fibres like silk and polyester which reduces cotton demand.
  • Inadequate labour force especially during the harvesting period.

Steps taken to solve the above problems

  • Establishment of cotton ginneries to create a market for cotton.
  • Development of transport routes linking to market centres.
  • Application of fertilizers to increase land productivity.
  • Improved political stability to ensure that farmers are settled down to cultivate cotton.

  • Application of irrigation farming to control weather failures e.g. prolonged drought during the planting season.
  • Research to develop improved cotton varieties that give off high yields.
  • Spraying to control pests and diseases


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