Kenya: Sugarcane Farmers Want Higher Pay Due To Hike In Sugar Prices

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Nyanza: Sugarcane farmers from Kenya want sugar companies to pay them more as the market price of sugar has been increased following commodity shortage.

The sugar prices of 50 kg bag are Sh4, 200 up from Sh3, 600.

On Wednesday, Richard Ogendo, general secretary, Kenya Sugarcane Growers Association said, “Farmers now get Sh3,400 to Sh3, 900 per tonne from millers. They want the factories to pay them Sh4, 200 per tonne of cane delivered.”

“The giant companies like Mumias, Chemelil and Muhoroni are crushing less cane leading to reducing production to 40 per cent of capacity,” he said.

Private and state-owned sugar mills should build weighbridges to reduce transportation cost. The farmers need their payments as they have to pay school fees of their children, he added.

Chemelil and Muhoroni mills owe farmers about Sh38 million and Sh61million in arrears respectively.

Elisha Ooko, Muhoroni receiver manager, said,” Low cane production has compelled us to work only four days a week. Any amount payable within a month is not arrears. We owe farmers Sh38 million for cane delivered in a month.”

On the other hand, Chemelil mill stopped crushing from April 2 after farmers stopped sending cane.

Gabriel Nyangweso, MD said, “We halted crushing due to cane shortage and will resume operation after availability of cane.”

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