By Bosco Magare - Company Corporate Affairs

GOVERNMENT plans to pay farmers cane and employees salaries arrears owed by public sugar companies says Agriculture Cabinet Secretary(CS) Peter Munya during Muhoroni field day featuring scores of agriculture sector exhibitors, among them Chemelil Sugar Company.

Munya who visited the Chemelil Sugar Company exhibition stand during the farmers field day held at Kandege grounds in Muhoroni, later addressed participants and stakeholders at the event and announced the Government plan to pay farmers cane and employee salaries arrears. The CS was accompanied by Kisumu Count Government Governor Anyang’ Nyongo, leaders from Muhoroni Sub-county and Agriculture Ministry officials, during the visit to the Chemelil Sugar Company exhibition stand.
“Next Government financial year beginning July, we plan to pay farmers cane and employee salary arrears owed by state-sugar companies. Tumalizane na hiyo mambo! (Kiswahili, translated to mean-so that we are done with this arrears issue) eliciting thunderous applause from audience and sections of participants.
At the same time, Munya directed the cane pricing committee to urgently convene and adjust farmers cane price per tonne upwards, so that they can equally benefit from prevailing favourable sugar price of more than Kshs. 5,000.00 per 50 kg commodity bag. ‘I am directing the cane pricing committee to urgently convene and adjust the cane price upwards” Munya said.
Munya made the announcement in response to earlier petitions by the farmers leadership who spoke at the function and requested the CS to intervene and ensure cane growers equally benefit from earnings of by-products such as molasses produced by state-owned sugar companies.
“Bwana waziri. Tunajuwa wewe kama mchapa kazi (Minister! We appreciate your work ethic) Now! these Government factories are making money from sale of by-products like molasses and bagasse. Let them share these earnings with farmers, who supply cane as raw material. Tusaidia waziri! (Minister help us!) ”

Speaking during the event, Munya also urged farmers to embrace new cane varieties which have high sucrose content, high yielding and resistant to diseases, since the Government plan is for sugar companies to start paying cane growers based on sucrose content instead of cane weight. Munya who had earlier presided over the commissioning of a coffee factory next to Kandege area also implored area farmers to diversify into coffee farming.
The CS said coffee farming is profitable adding that coffee beans are attracting good prices in the market as he lauded a local farmer Edwin Obonyo-husband to late Bomet Governor Lorna Laboso-for constructing a coffee plant within his farm to assist local growers with processing of coffee beans.
More than 20 agricultural, agro-based firms, financial and related companies, among them Yara, Muhoroni Sugar Company, Homalime Company Limited, Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) Livestock Genetics, Sugar Directorate, Commodities Fund, New Kenya Coffee Plantation Co-operative Union, coffee firm Trace and Kipkelion, including National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) participated in the successful and
educative field day at Kandege grounds in Muhoroni.

“We are new customers of this company and have been very favorably impressed with the quality of the work performed by your staff.”