More Western leaders support zoning to revive sugar factories
4 months ago, 21 Aug 00:21
A section of Bungoma leaders supports cane zoning to sustain supply to factories.
The proposal is contained in a Ministry of Agriculture report on the sugar industry.
Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati said on Sunday that the national government should implement the report fully.
Wangamati said the governors had reached an agreement with Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri on what needs to be done to save the collapsing sugar industry.
He said they proposed the reintroduction of zoning of industries.
“We discussed various issues with the Cabinet Secretary two months ago at the Windsor Hotel and we want them implemented fully to save our industries,” he said.
The proposed laws say that specific zones designated for millers will be created in consultation with county governments and farmers based on the milling capacity and
Millers will also be penalised for failing to harvest their contracted farmers’ cane at the stipulated time. Monthly, the delay will attract a penalty of 1.5 per cent of the calculated value of the affected cane and an interest at the market rates.
Wangamati said they also proposed that the government should pump in money into the industries to pay farmers and workers who have gone for years without pay.
He said the reintroduction of zoning will help millers have a constant supply of cane to crush.
Last week, former Kakamega senator Boni Khalwale opposed reintroduction of zoning.
He said farmers and private millers such as Butali and West Kenya would suffer. “Why is zoning not imposed on maize so farmers in Trans Nzoia only sell their produce to millers within their
county?” he asked.
Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said President Uhuru Kenyatta was concerned about the declining sugar economy s and had directed Kiunjuri to quickly gazette the new regulations.
He said zoning would end cases of sugar poaching and allow millers to have cane to crush on a regular basis.
Wamalwa said the new regulations will also bring back the Sugar Development Levy to assist millers get funds for their expansion.
“The new regulations are going to bring back the sugar development levy and this will give millers funds to improve their infrastructure and produce more sugar,” he said.
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula said MPs had failed Kenyans for failing to adopt the sugar probe report.
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