Kenya sugarcane farmers are to be paid US $25m from outstanding debts. This is following an order by President Uhuru to both the Ministry of Agriculture as well as the Treasury to come up with a framework to pay outstanding debts.
The President said that the government owes money to the sugarcane farmers and that the delayed has caused untold suffering. Addressing Kenyans during the Mashujaa Day celebrations this past weekend, President Kenyatta however asked the ministry to first carry out an audit, to ensure only the right farmers are paid.
President Uhuru decried the delayed payments, considering the gradual increase on sugar prices across the country. As such, he instructed the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Treasury to immediately put in place a framework to audit and pay sugarcane farmers the owed amounts.
Speaking to the sugarcane farmers, the president urged them to sell their produce to the factories that are well-run and pay on time. He further cautioned them against selling to the informal markets. This is because, according to verifiable sources, the informal markets cuts farmers’ incomes and delays the development of a proper sugar industry.
He also instructed a taskforce be established, to be led by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri and assisted by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya. The President said that the taskforce has a month to come up with recommendations on how to restructure the ailing sugar industry.
He also added that factories which failed to pay farmers punctually ought to meet their obligations by paying farmers promptly and directly, not through millers. The President could not stress further the importance of sugar to the economy of the country. As such, anyone caught preventing the smooth sailing of the same including the remuneration of sugarcane farmers will face the law.