Payday is Near, Kiunjuri Tells Cane Farmers
Sugarcane farmers are set to receive Sh2.7 billion owed by State-owned millers this week after the national treasury released the cash to the agriculture ministry.
Mumias Sugar Company will be paying its farmers Sh889m while Sony Sugar will be parting with Sh512m to settle the debt. This will cover the deliveries farmers made to the millers as from 2014.
“We realised that we cannot talk to farmers who have not been paid. We will conclude their payment then have our final sitting and come up with the report to hand over to President Kenyatta,” the CS said.
Muhoroni-Miwani will be paying its farmers Sh474m for the March 2017 deliveries, Chemilil paying Sh201m for deliveries made as from January this year, and lastly Nzoia being yet to clear Sh524m.
According to Mr.Kiunjuri, underperforming and struggling millers are set to be privatized as the plan is already in the plan by the Government and other key players in the sector.
“For 20 years we have been facing challenges on how to pay our farmers; this is set to change as our farmers will be smiling to the bank,” Mr. Kiunjuri said after a meeting with ODM party leader Raila Odinga.
The former Prime Minister, Mr. Odinga cited that the government has been pumping so many billions of money into the industries but still being unable to address the issue of delayed payments to farmers.
Mr. Odinga added that plans are underway to have private investors chipping in to invest more money and machines to public companies the likes of Chemelil, Miwani, Muhoroni, Nzoia and Sony Sugar that are unable to sustain the market heat.
“There is a need for a permanent solution, and the Monday meeting will address all the issues,” Mr. Odinga said.
According to him, the move will go a long way in rehabilitating and modernizing the millers for competitive and sustainable production. He further cited on how bad corruption and mismanagement has led to the collapse of the once great companies.