The calls on Sugar Companies Privatization continues to gain momentum as stakeholders try to find a lasting solution to the ailing sugar industry.
Currently, the sugar industry faces a myriad of challenges which include: experiencing loses, slowed down operations due to deplorable state and lack of modern equipment, late payment of sugar cane farmers, late harvesting of cane as well as corruption that has made sugar production unsustainably expensive.
In a consultative meeting held at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel, brought on board Rt. Honourable, Raila Odinga, CS agriculture, Hon. Mwangi Kiunjuri, Chairman Council of Governors. H.E. Wycliffe Oparanya ( Kakamega), H.E Zachary Obado ( Migori), H.E Cornel Rasanga ( Siaya), H.E. Stephen Sang’ ( Nandi), Professor Hamadi Boga, Privatization Commission, Senators, MCAs, among other leaders from the sugar growing region to chart the way forward
The Ministry of Agriculture disclosed in a report that about 1.9 billion has been disbursed to pay farmers debts even though the sugar sector still faces a multiple of financial challenges.
On his part, the Rt. Honourable, Raila Odinga, underscored the urgent need to find a lasting solution to the problems facing the sugar mills to ensure sustainability and profit realization in their operations.
“The sector cannot be revived through accusations and counter accusations, we should be prepared to take bold steps” said Rt. Hon. Raila
Some of the resolutions made during the meeting include:
That, in view of urgent need to revitalize the public mills and the industry at large, the Privatization Commission identifies strategic partners in the next 120 days.
That, County Government to represent the interest of farmers on matters privatization.
That, a special Committee be set up by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation to come up with a revival strategy for revitalization of Mumias Sugar Company
That, the Sugar Industry Task force to complete its work within the next 14 days
That, the remaining 808 million owed to farmers be captured in the supplementary budget.
That, the Ministry of Agriculture to provide leadership in bringing together relevant government departments and agencies to address financial requirements of the public Sugar Companies, particularly debt write off.
That, the Sugar Act be reinstated to provide independent sugar regulatory body and sugar resource body.
That, the Sugar Regulations be gazette to provide a conducive business environment for the Sugar Sector.
By: Emily Mikwa