For eight years Cyrus Akhonya who hails from Butsotso East Lurambi Constituency Kakamega County opted out of sugar cane farming after experiencing many loses after a long wait.
In an exclusive interview with West Media, he says he has nothing to show for the years he practiced sugar cane farming in his farm. He laments of delayed harvesting of his sugarcane from the farm by the milling companies. The delayed harvest contributed to his sugarcane overstaying and losing the would be highest tones to give him more money.
Akhonya who lives below poverty line says he depended on sugarcane farming for survival and the delay in harvesting pushed him into too much borrowing to make ends meet.
With many debts borrowed, the cash from his sugar harvest would only end up settle debts and his life became a circle of try and error.
Several farmers who hail from Matete, Kakamega County lament total corruptiop when its time for their sugarcane to be harvested. They accuse some workers from sugar factories in the region of asking for a kick back before they can be given a permit for their sugarcane to be harvested.
With biting economy and high inflation, the farmers say its better they go back to maize and other crops farming that take short time before harvesting to enable them make ends meet.
Teresa, a sugarcane farmer from Matete says its now obvious the milling companies are conning farmers by negatively tilting the end results of tonnes from harvested plants from the farmer which impacts a farmer into loses.
As many farmers continue to opt out of sugarcane farming, the sugar industry in the country continue to stare at raw material shortage a situation that has forced millers to increase the payment of raw materials to 16 percent against the government’s recommended one.
According to the report from the sugar directorate, sugar production dropped by 40 percent to 546000 last month compared to 908000 in January this year.
One tonne of sugar now goes for sh 5250 above the government recommended price of sh 4584.