Gov’t disburses Ksh 1.9B owed to sugarcane farmers

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri says a total of 1.9 billion shillings owed to farmers has been disbursed with the remaining 800 million shillings to be released in due course.

Speaking in Kisumu, Kiunjuri added that the government has similarly written off debt amounting to 85.5 billion shillings cane farmers owed.

The sugar taskforce which held its sitting in Kisumu is now expected to present a final report on privatization of state millers in two weeks to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The protracted journey towards privatization of the sugar sector in the country is set to come to an end in a fortnight as the sugar sector privatization task force co-chaired by Kakamega County Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri present its deliberation to President Uhuru Kenyatta for cabinet ratification.

The task force is proposing a raft of measures that are aimed at changing fortunes of the sector.

At the task force seating in Kisumu Monday, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga made a proposal to merger smaller state millers in order to increase their competitiveness.

Stakeholders in the industry further want land owned by the defunct companies returned to public and only leased out to strategic investors for the purpose of expanding sugarcane plantations.

The leaders also propose a change of law to check importation of sugar into the sector.

Agriculture CS revealed that farmers debts amounting to 85.5 billion shillings have been written off while 1.9 billion shillings had been disbursed as directed by the President for the payment of farmers arrears.

A remaining 800 million shillings will be disbursed once the supplementary budget is passed.

  

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