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THE BIG DEBATE: State playing PR on Mumias Sugar


Jubilee government has failed completely to save Mumias Sugar Company and the company now risks closure as it more of a ‘dead’ company.
The national government is playing a PR exercise using company to hoodwink the community.
It is the same government which is almost killing sugar industries in the region, Nzoia Sugar Company is also facing same fate if the government will not salvage it as needed.
To salvage the company from collapsing, the government should transfer its 20 per cent shares in the company to be owned by the county government.
The Sh 3.2 billion bailout for the company is a drop in the ocean, the company needs at least Sh 12 billion to revive it fully.
Apart from the bailout to pay farmers and staff, there is need to invest more in farming infrastructure like developing seed cane, fertilizer supply, training of farmers on best farming practices among others.
The company should also revive Mumias Out growers Company (MOCO) which agitates for the interests of farmers including better payment per ton.
The company should also engage in Community Social Responsibilities (CSR) to support the community by constructing and maintaining roads in the sugar growing zone.
It is time for the national government to hand over the company to the county government to manage it by pumping more funds in the company.
The Government rejected our bid to take and manage the shares in order to fast truck reviving process of the ailing sugar company which is now faced with a closure threat due to lack of funds.
The woes at the miller can only be addressed through close monitoring and that can be best dealt with by the national government.
Currently the hands of the county government are tied yet our people are suffering due to great loss incurred.
If the company collapses the economy of the county and the whole nation will sink.
There is need to support the company for it to effectively serve its contracted farmers in the region.
Political leaders aligned to Jubilee should also stop politicking with problems facing the company because poor politics have also contributed to the near death of the company.
The Government is running Mumias Sugar Company because it is the largest shareholder, it should allow the company to be fully privatized to enable revival and survival of the company. (Wycliffe Oparanya Governor-Kakamega County)

 

 The decision by the government to bailout Mumias Sugar Company showed that the government has the interests of cane farmers at heart.
By bailing out the company, the government also exhibited that it supports the economic fortunes of the region which relies on cane farming.
Over Sh 3.2 billion given to the company was to get back the company to its foot to solve the financial crisis that almost killed the company.
The target of the company is to ensure the company is operating to its optimum and serves the interests of the community.
Through the bailout, the company has been able to pay some of its farmers who had supplied cane to the company and this has at least had an impact on the economy of the region.
Once the company is fully revived it will create opportunities for locals and farmers will have money in the pockets to cater for their needs.
With the government efforts to revive the sector I have also proposed a Bill to streamline the sector.
Crop Amendment Bill 2016 will turn around the sector to the benefit of the cane farmer and also ensure millers end poaching of cane from each other.
In the Bill, during the first five months after planting the cane, the farmer will be at liberty to choose the miller to sell their cane to.
Agriculture is a devolved function, the county governments will have a right in supporting farmers to grow the cane and also manage cane farming.
After contracting the miller and agreeing on harvesting season, the miller will have an obligation to harvest the cane at the agreed time.
If the miller fails to harvest the cane as agreed, he will have to incur storage charges.
After harvesting the cane, the miller is supposed to pay the farmer within 14 days failure to do so the miller will have to pay an interest to the farmer.
The interest rate will be agreed on depending on Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) rates.
To end cane poaching which has left most millers without the raw materials, the Bill suggests that for a miller to harvest cane from a farmer it (miller) did not contract, it will have to seek a nod from the miller who has the contract with the farmer.
If the contracted miller closes down for maintenance, the miller can authorize another miller to harvest the cane based on their agreed terms.
Once the Bill will be adopted it will end the crisis threatening the industry and also have cane farmers get their payments on time and benefit from the sector. (Emmanuel Wangwe Navakholo MP)

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