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BOOST TO FARMING

Farmers support gazettement of Crops General Regulation 2020

They said the move will revive large scale production of sugarcane.

In Summary

• The Crops General Regulation act roots for the introduction of contractual farming in a bid to promote free market of the primary raw material of the sweetener.

A sugarcane tractor at Kibos sugar factory
Image: faith matete

The gazettement of the Crops General Regulation 2020 by Agriculture CS Peter Munya continues to illicit more response from farmers.

Some of the farmers said the move will revive large scale production of the produce in previously abandoned cane estates as well as streamline the dwindling fortunes of the sector.

Sugarcane stakeholders in Nyando belt consisting of Kisumu, Kericho and Nandi counties as well as Western Region Block that covers mostly Bungoma, Kakamega, Busia & Vihiga Counties have welcomed the regulations.

According to Nyando Delta chairperson James Lwala, the farms cane in Ahero that were abandoned by sugarcane farmers across the region will now be revived and utilised.

“Over 10,000 acres of land that currently lies idle since the collapse of Miwani Sugar Company in 2001 after farmers abandoned sugarcane farming for rice, maize and sorghum, will now be utilized due to favorable terms stipulated in the gazettement of Crops General Regulation 2020,” said Lwala.

While thanking President Uhuru Kenyatta and CS Munya, he said that they have currently embark on sensitising farmers across to plant sugarcane after abandoning the vice.

Am now sensitising about 500 farmers to embark on planting of sugarcane after abandoning the exercise due to unfavorable working conditions such as long payment delays from majorly State Millers,” he stated.
James Lwala

Daniel Orwa, who’s the chairman of Muhoroni Farmers Cooperative Society also called on the national and county governments to develop access roads to reduce cases of breakdowns of equipment during rainy seasons.

Esther Simiyu, Butali farmer said the regulations will put an end to exploitation while the pricing committee will help farmers get more income.

Vitalis Okinda, farmer from Sukari Industries said the regulation is long overdue, and farmers will defend it since it is what farmers wanted during a validation exercise of government taskforce in Kisumu. 

In Kakamega, sugarcane farmers from West Kenya and Butali Zones lauded the establishment of contractual Farming that involves farmers entering into direct contracts with Millers, thereby choosing the highest bidder for their crop as opposed to Zoning, which restricted them to under performing State owned Millers such as Mumias.

While speaking in Malava, the cane farmers said that the new regulation will promote competition and encourage private millers to set up weigh bridges near their farms and greatly reduce cost of transporting the canes.

In Bungoma, sugarcane farmers led by Moses Sikuta, from Bungoma South, supported the setting up of pricing committee that will give farmers a say in establishment of cane prices which initially was dominated by Millers.

Speaking at Mabanga, the farmers also called on the government to pump in more money to pay for farmers arrears, noting for instance that Nzoia sugar has not paid workers for over one year while Mumias over three years.

The Crops General Regulation Act 2020, that was Gazetted in May by the CS for Agriculture, among other things roots for the introduction of contractual farming in a bid to promote free market of the primary raw material of the sweetener and build confidence among thousands of growers who abandoned the crop.

It also provides for appointment of National stakeholders committee that involves farmers to oversee the day to day operations of the sector through policy formation.