Sugarcane farmers fault DP Ruto over factory remarks

Sugarcane farmers fault DP Ruto over factory remarks

The Kenya National Sugarcane Farmers Union has criticised Deputy President William Ruto after he asked them not to supply the produce to factories that are unable to pay them their dues.

According to the unions’s secretary general Simon Wesechere, the DP’s remarks indicate that the government is one-sided yet the focus should be on reviving the ailing sugar sector.

“The State-owned millers are facing serious monetary challenges and urging farmers to take their produce to private factories won’t solve the problem as these factories cannot sustain the demand for sugarcane in this country,” he said.

Mr. Wesechere was speaking to journalists on Saturday in Shianda, Mumias East Constituency.

He further alluded that taking sugarcane to private factories would create opportunity for fraudulent businessmen to import sugar which will negatively affect farmers.

Three days ago, the DP told farmers that the government would pay them the Ksh.1.93billion owed to them by State-owned sugarcane factories.

He said verification of farmers has been done and the Agriculture Ministry and Treasury consulted to ensure that payment is completed.

“Until there is clarity from the task force and it has been agreed on what will happen to the sugar factories, farmers are advised that once they get paid this money by the government they should not deliver cane to the factories that have no capacity to pay,” the DP told a Cabinet meeting.

He said this is to avoid a similar situation recurring where farmers have delivered sugarcane but stay for months without being paid.

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