- Kakamega governor Fernandes Barasa says there is a need to increase cane farming in the region to ensure the miller is supplied with enough raw material to keep it up and running.
Cane farmers in Kakamega County have been asked to fully support county efforts to revive the Mumias Sugar Company by planting more sugarcane.
Kakamega governor Fernandes Barasa says there is a need to increase cane farming in the region to ensure the miller is supplied with enough raw material to keep it up and running.
Speaking on Wednesday, Barasa called on Kakamega residents to support his efforts of reviving Mumias Sugar Company by planting sugarcane.
The governor revealed he had held a meeting with the company's receiver Manager PRV Rao of Sarrai Group where it was agreed to consistently ensure timely payment of farmers on the fifth day upon delivery of the raw materials to the company.
He said the manager had also agreed to quash the persistent debts that have contributed to dwindling fortunes witnessed for almost a decade in the sugar industry in Kakamega County.
“We are in agreement about timely pay for farmers who supply their cane so as to keep the morale up while ensuring the company also stays afloat. I also requested him to do away with the persistent debts because it’s hurting farmers and he agreed," said Barasa.
Western region has been the highest producer of sugar with the cash crop being a major income earner for many families.
The last few years however have seen most cane farmers in the region drop the venture to embark on other economically viable forms of survival as millers in the region collapsed while others struggled to stay afloat.
Kakamega County has been on a spirited rigorous campaign to encourage farmers to return to cane farming with governor Barasa personally making efforts to ensure a change of laws, policies and mindsets to salvage the situation.
For the longest time, Mumias sugar, the largest sugar miller in the region has faced a tough time and has numerously closed due to financial crises which among others included failure to pay farmers.
The miller has over the years faced numerous setbacks among them procedural, management and financial irregularities.
The company's woes started in 2008 when it started going down through to September 2019, when it was placed under receivership by the Kenya Commercial Bank and later hit a dead end.
It is currently up and running following interventions by the county government.
The governor encouraged farmers to get registered by their respective Ward Administrators' offices so as to benefit from the County's subsidized fertilizer in readiness for the planting season that starts in February.