Home NEWS Local News State writes off debts worth Ksh117B for sugar, coffee sectors

State writes off debts worth Ksh117B for sugar, coffee sectors

The government has also approved the first tranche of Ksh600 million for seed cane development.

President William Ruto during the 61st Madaraka Day celebrations at the Masinde Muliro Stadium in Bungoma.

The government has written off Ksh110 billion debts accumulated by sugar factories over the past 40 years and Ksh6.9 billion debts owed by coffee cooperatives.

Speaking while presiding over the 61st Madaraka Day Celebrations in Bungoma, President William Ruto outlined a comprehensive plan to revitalise the sugarcane and coffee sectors.

The President revealed that the government has introduced a new leasing model designed to ensure prompt payments for cane deliveries, timely wages for factory workers, and annual bonuses for sugarcane farmers.

“The sugar industry is a highly strategic sub-sector that has been the mainstay of local economies in our sugar belt. We are committed to ensuring it returns maximum value to all actors, beginning with the cane grower,” Ruto said.

He called on relevant agencies to accelerate the review process and incorporate proceeds from by-products.

The head of state further announced the approval of the first tranche of Ksh600 million for seed cane development as part of a larger Ksh2 billion investment.

Ruto also outlined measures to boost coffee production from the current 2 kg to 10 kg per tree, as well as increasing annual output from 50,000 metric tons to 102,000 metric tons by 2027.

“Under the coffee sector reforms that we initiated, a Ksh4 billion coffee cherry fund was established, Ksh2 billion of which has been paid, with the balance allocated for payment in the 2024/2025 financial year. This will ensure farmers get good returns for their investments,” he stated.

The President underscored agriculture’s direct contribution to the economy, stressing the need to continually revamp the sector as one of the government’s key development pillars.

“Agriculture’s direct contribution to our GDP is 25pc, while its indirect support to other economic pillars such as manufacturing boosts the GDP by a further 27pc. Agriculture also employs, directly or otherwise, an estimated 40pc of our population,” said Ruto.

This year’s Madaraka Day celebrations were held under the theme of ‘Agriculture and Food Security.’

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