, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 1- The Butali Sugar Mills in Kakamega has received a grant of Sh429 million from the Kenya Sugar Board for the development of infrastructure in its sugarcane growing catchments areas.
Making the announcement at the factory in Malava constituency on Sunday, Deputy President William Ruto noted that the money will be used for purchase of equipment for the construction of feeder roads, expansion of the acreage in the sugar catchments area and general improvement of infrastructure.
The Deputy President emphasized that the government had put in place a comprehensive plan to ensure that the concerns of sugar cane farmers were addressed adding some of the initial measures include supplying subsidized fertilizers to sugar cane farmers.
“We want the cost of fertilizer for sugar cane farmers to go down from the current Sh4000 to Sh1600 as it is with the maize farmers,” he said.
“The government was keen in lowering the cost of inputs to farmers so that they can maximize on their produce and has sent the cabinet minister for Agriculture to Russia and Belarus to source for fair prices.”
Ruto at the same time said the government will protect local farmers from unscrupulous traders who had flooded the market with imported sugar from outside the Common Market for Southern and Eastern Africa (COME SA) region.
He warned those engaged in such activities that the law will soon catch up with them.
He commended investors of the Butali sugar factory for establishing a factory in the area noting that some 2000 farmers were benefiting from the factory in Malava and Mosop constituencies.
The MP for Lugari who is also the chairman of the parliamentary committee on Agriculture Ayub Savula decried the low earnings by sugar cane farmers noting that the farmers should earn at least Sh4000 per tonne from the current Sh3500 per tonne