Kenya: West Kenya Sugar company spends Sh47 million to support sugarcane farmers

Nairobi (Kenya): West Kenya Sugar Miller has invested Sh47 million in the acquisition of motorbikes, aimed at improving support for sugarcane farmers, reported The-Star.

This move comes in response to the acute shortage of sugarcane in the local sugar industry, which has prompted the mill to enhance the mobility of its field staff for easier access to farmers.

In the wake of the closure of several sugar factories due to a lack of cane supply, the Malava-based factory has launched an aggressive campaign to attract more farmers to cultivate sugarcane. This initiative is crucial in addressing the escalating prices of sugar, with the current retail prices ranging between Sh220 and Sh230 per kilo and Sh430 to Sh440 for two kilos.

Economic experts have cautioned that the price of sugar is likely to continue rising due to a shortage of sugar in Comesa countries. In light of these challenges, West Kenya Sugar Miller is taking steps to support its cane farmers.

During the distribution of 250 motorbikes, company director Onkar Rai emphasized the significance of the partnership between the mill and cane farmers. He reiterated the company’s commitment to ensuring that farmers, who supply the raw material, receive services at their doorstep. Onkar stressed the importance of providing excellent services, regular payments, and addressing farmers’ concerns promptly.

“The activities we are engaged in are not only beneficial to our company but also to the local sugar industry. Therefore, we have a responsibility to recruit new farmers and serve our existing partners well,” Onkar stated.

Two months ago, many sugar factories in the Western region temporarily closed due to a lack of mature sugarcane for milling. While these factories were expected to resume operations after four months, the Agriculture and Food Authority recently extended the milling ban by one month, delaying the resumption of crushing until early next year.

Despite the challenges posed by the factory closures, Onkar expressed confidence that with effective strategies and stronger partnerships with farmers, they would overcome the situation.

Field supervisor Evelyn Apadet commended the company for enhancing the mobility of field staff, particularly as the rainy season approaches. She expressed optimism about meeting the set targets, anticipating an increase in sugarcane cultivation with the onset of rains.

The beneficiaries of the motorbikes received a reminder to adhere to traffic rules and prioritize safety while on the road.


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