Sugarcane farmers in Ndhiwa Sub-county have been urged to form unions in order to champion their rights with Sukari Industry.
More than 50,000 farmers in Ndhiwa sugarcane zone, comprising Ndhiwa, Rangwe and Homa Bay Town sub-counties have been complaining that Sukari Industry has refused to cut their mature canes which were now rotting in the farms.
Speaking during the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of Ndhiwa Kenya Medical Training College in Ndhiwa Town Tuesday, area MP Martin Owino reiterated that the formation of unions will assist farmers in addressing their plight with the management of the sugar industry.
Owino said he has lodged complaints with the industry on how they should work with the farmers in the region to solve their woes. The legislator further stressed that he only needed a union of farmers who would help him push for the rights of the farmers in the region.
“All I need is a union’s voice so that we push these matters through and stop all the illegalities going on in that industry, making our farmers to suffer,” he said.
At the same time, the MP further complained about the cane brought in from other places including Muhoroni and Trans-Nzoia, thus leaving the local cane to rot citing impassable roads.
“You cannot import sugar and re-package it with Ndhiwa name and then you leave our cane to rot,” said Owino.
On his part, the Kenya National Sugarcane Farmers Federation Secretary General Ezra Okoth urged the farmers to join the federation saying it would place them in a better position to air their grievances.
Okoth further disclosed that plans are underway to lease millers to private companies with a view to addressing woes of sugarcane farmers in the country.
He appealed to leaders in the area to come out and assist farmers in championing for their rights.