, KISUMU, Kenya, Nov 14 – Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has assured that the Sh2.6 billion set aside to offset arrears in the sugarcane growing areas will only be paid to genuine farmers.
Kiunjuri said his ministry is smarting from what was witnessed in the maize sector where genuine farmers missed out from payments.
Speaking in Kisumu, Kiunjuri said his ministry in collaboration with the National Treasury is currently carrying out an audit in the government sugar mills to come up with a genuine list of farmers.
“Once the audit report is out, my ministry will start payments of arrears to the farmers,” assured Kiunjuri.
He added the audit team will also look into the debts owed to the factories by the farmers with the aim of preparing the state mills for privatization.
Muhoroni Member of Parliament Onyango Koyoo, however, blamed the government and private millers for the woes affecting sugarcane farmers within the belt.
Koyoo said the free importation of sugar into the country exposed farmers to the current sufferings.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on October 20 ordered the National Treasury and Ministry of Agriculture to release Sh2.6 billion to bonafide sugarcane farmers who are paid billions by struggling sugar millers.