Bold, transformative recommendations expected from the maize, sugar task forces

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Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri co-chair the sugar task force
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri co-chair the sugar task force

Two separate teams that were formed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to look into the woes crippling the sugar and maize sectors and give recommendations are expected to give their recommendations later this month. The two sectors have been riddled with perennial problems, with the common denominator being lack or delayed payments to sugarcane and maize farmers. President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the task forces will be expected to propose bold interventions, “I expect that the teams will propose bold and transformative interventions to revive and sustainably grow these sub sectors,” he said.

The President has reiterated that his administration is ready to act on the presented commendations and farmers will be hoping they are factored in and listed to in the recommendations,. The sugar task force, co-chaired by Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has looked into different issues affecting cane farmers and millers, and many will be hoping solutions will be found to revive the ailing industries that were once the backbone of the economy.

In his address, President Kenyatta also pointed out his commitment to coffee farming, saying that numerous interventions have been implemented arising from recommendations from the coffee task force, including the rehabilitation of 51 pulping stations in 31 coffee growing Counties. To address undue delays in the payment cycle, he said the government has set up a Kshs 3 billion cherry advance revolving fund which will be operational from 1st July, something he had also pointed out during the Coffee Conference which was recently held in Nairobi, “Consequently, all coffee farmers across the country will be able to access the cherry advance at a modest interest rate of 3%,” he outlined.

This bodes well for farmers in the Western region, and maize and cane farmers will be hoping recommendations made by the respective task forces are implemented as soon as possible, following the coffee sector trend.