Migori tobacco farmers forced into SACCOs

Migori tobacco farmers forced into SACCOs

Tobacco farmers from Migori County now want the government to intervene over what they term as stringent policy from tobacco processing firms.

Led by Peter Ochieng, the farmers allege that the tobacco processing firms have set up stringent policies which do not allow issuing of insurance cover or buying farmers produce unless they have registered under the companies’ SACCO

Ochieng alleges that British American Tobacco (BAT) has a policy that every tobacco farmer contracted by the company must conditionally join their SACCO.

According to Ochieng, farmers should be notified on the benefits of joining the SACCO’s instead of forcing them to join such schemes.

He added that farmers are being deducted money to cater for insurance cover but the compensation is never commensurate to their insurance cover contribution

Speaking to Citizen Digital, the chairman of Kenya Tobacco Farmers, Migori county Mr. Agustine Mwita said they have never been informed about the SACCO.

However, BAT refuted the claims saying that the SACCO’s are formed by the farmers and for that reason they belong to them.

Migori County currently has only BAT and Mastermind Tobacco companies after Alliance One Tobacco Company left the market three months ago.