Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri has assured genuine farmers who delivered sugarcane to Nzoia Sugar factory they’ll receive their pay and that a verification exercise has started to ascertain the genuine cane farmers.
Speaking after a tour to the factory CS Kiunjuri said the exercise is to ensure only the legitimate farmers are paid saying he has learned a lesson after the genuine maize farmers were overlooked in the previous exercise at the national cereals and produce board.
He asserted that managerial nonperformance issues have been the main reason for the downfall of sugar companies saying together with the Devolution Cabinet Secretary and Governors in the sugarcane growing regions they will have to scrutinize the boards in office to gauge their output.
He gave an ultimatum of six months to the management of the companies to improve saying he will crack the whip by closing them down saying as a government they will not tolerate to have companies that are only liabilities.
“You have confirmed that there are many cartels in the company some who are not genuine farmers but are on the payroll so the scrutiny of the list will be very vital to ensure those who are paid are farmers who toiled to bring their sugarcane to the factory,” he said.
The CS further said the farmers will be paid directly and those who owe the company the deductions will be made before the money is remitted in their accounts.
Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati said a population of over five hundred thousand people in the County depend on sugarcane farming and if they are not earning from it they will tend to seek an alternative food crop.
He said it will be important also to include stakeholders from Bungoma County in the sugar task force saying having Nzoia sugar they will be in a position to give out views on how to tackle the issue very well.
Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala said the sugar industry needs to be critically streamlined saying cheap sugar has been imported an issue that has negatively impacted on the sugar industries saying the government needs to control the issue.
Former Kanduyi MP Alfred Khangati said the only way out to save the sugar industries will be to streamline the management of the companies saying many managers have their own interest hence leading to the companies downfall.