The textile industry in Nakuru, once the largest employer in the region after the public service, has been on its knees in recent years but county officials are now upbeat about its potential.
The county is already wooing a number of investors to set up more textile and apparels factories in a renewed bid to revitalise the sector.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui says more investors have already expressed interest in setting base at the proposed Naivasha Special Economic Zone.
“Manufacturing is part of the Jubilee administration’s Big Four Agenda. We will continue to support and fully exploit the textile sector’s potential as we provide investors with a conducive business environment. As a county we are also keen to increase the share of business flowing to local textile industries,” said Governor Kinyanjui (left).
Between the 1980s and early 1990s, major factories such as the Spin-Knit Limited, Bedi Garments, Nakuru Industries, Londra and Nakuru Blankets rode high in the region, employing thousands of people.
However, the sector later withered away, with the companies either folding up or scaling down their operations with hundreds of people being rendered jobless following the influx of cheap second-hand products.
Already, State-owned Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has been inviting investors to set up export-only textile and apparels plants on a 309-acre industrial zone in the area.
The KenGen Green Energy Industrial Park, which has four zones, is connected to Mombasa port via the standard gauge railway and offers prospective companies direct connection to cheap electricity.
The firms will enjoy competitively-priced geothermal steam and electricity thus enhancing their operations.