Nyanza cane farmers oppose zoning plans

Sugarcane farmers within the Nyando sugar belt have opposed the planned re-introduction of sugarcane zoning saying the move will cripple the sugarcane sector further.

According to the Kenya National Federation of Sugarcane Farmers, farmers should be allowed to sell to millers that will absorb their crop as well as make timely payments.

Federation vice chairman Atiang’ Atiang said that cane zoning had in the past led to massive losses to the farmers noting that up to now farmers are still owed to millions of shillings by the factories.

“We want farmers to be allowed to take their sugarcane wherever they wish, where they can be well paid. Chemelil sugar remained with farmers debt worth over Ksh380 million and Sony sugar Ksh450 million also and all this is because they were told that they should sell their sugarcane to the government industries only. We refuse it and now we want to form a committee over the same issue,” Mr Atiang said.

The farmers signed a petition and mandated their leaders to ensure that their concerns are forwarded to the ministry of agriculture for further action.

Mr Atiang’ added that farmers had resolved that the sugarcane pricing committee should be devolved to the counties.

“Whenever there is a hike in sugar prices, prices for cane remains constant this should be addressed soon in order to help reduce the problems cane farmers are facing,” he added.