•Besides early maturity, the new varieties have high yields and are disease resistant.
•It takes between 12 and 14 months compared with the old varieties that mature between 18 and 20 months.
Sugarcane farmers across the country will be paid their cane proceeds based on the sucrose content.
The Agriculture and Food Authority said cane payment based on sucrose content will see farmers earning double the amount of cane proceeds per tonne based on the current weighbridge payment system.
The Authority also announced that the government plans to consider paying Chemelil Sugar Company employees more than Sh995 million they are owed in salaries not paid for the last five years.
AFA chairman Cornelly Serem said that currently based on the government-set cane price, farmers earn Sh4,584 per tonne.
Under the sucrose-based system, Serem said sugarcane growers will get returns as high as Sh9,000.00 per tonne.
"The locally developed new cane varieties such as KEN 83-737, KEN 98-530, KEN 98-513 and KEN 82-808 have high sucrose content unlike the popular old cane variety CO617 that most farmers grow within Chemelil cane catchment zone and the larger Nyando Sugar- belt," he said.
The authority will also push for speedy government restoration of the Sugar Development Levy ( SDL) to enable the Sugar Directorate to fund farmers' acquisition of farm inputs for cane development using new sugarcane varieties with high sucrose content.
The chairman encouraged farmers to start growing new varieties with high sucrose content and other advantages.
Serem announced the AFA measures aim at reforming the mode of paying farmers cane proceeds during an inspection tour of the sucrose-based Cane Testing Unit( CTU) installed by Chemelil Sugar Company by Sugar Directorate.
Sugar Directorate Interim Chief Executive Officer ( CEO) Willis Awudi who accompanied AFA chairman Serem and Chemelil Sugar Company Managing Director Jaquelin Kotonya during the CTU inspection said the new cane varieties mature early.
Besides early maturity, the new varieties have high yields and are disease resistant.
It takes between 12 and 14 months compared with the old varieties that mature between 18 and 20 months.
Serem was also briefed by Kotonya on the firm's current challenges which include cane shortage resulting in inadequate supply to the factory, reduced sugar production and revenue generation to meet stakeholders, farmers, transporters, cane harvesters, employees and suppliers' financial expectations.
Kotonya said the company is currently undertaking trials of the new cane varieties in the company's nucleus estate.
She pointed out that they have also sensitised some farmers through field days on the advantages of the new varieties.
Kotonya decried that farmers' uptake of the new cane varieties was low with most growers still planting the old cane variety CO617 as it has low cane development and maintenance costs
Even though the company was current on its weekly scheduled payment of cane proceeds, she appealed to AFA to facilitate government payment of the pending 60 per cent the form owes farmers as cane arrears for the year 2021.
Farmers and their representatives Ernest Kemboi, David Kitur, Samson Keino, Joel Langat, Daniel Nge'lechei and Salim Baishir, among others, petitioned AFA chairman Serem to fast-track Government payment of the 60 per cent cane arrears Chemelil Sugar Company still owes farmers.
Serem pledged to pursue the government payment of the farmers' pending 60 per cent cane arrears.