, KISUMU, Kenya, Mar 11 – The National Government has so far paid Sh1.9 billion to sugarcane farmers across the country to clear the debts owed to them.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri announced that all farmers who directly supplied cane have been paid.
Speaking in Kisumu during a sugar industry forum, Kiunjuri noted that farmers who have not been paid supplied their cane through cooperatives.
He says the remaining Sh800 million was factored in the supplementary budget and will be used to clear with the farmers who delivered cane through cooperative societies.
The CS says the government will now roll out public participation that was halted due to the delay in payments of cane farmers.
Kiunjuri told farmers to actively participate in the public participation exercise once they are rolled out.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga who also attended the meeting noted that survival of the sugar industry is at stake.
Odinga, however, lauded the government for coming to the aid of farmers by paying the arrears owed to them by state-owned millers.
He says the revival of the sector requires a legal framework of controlling importation of sugar into the country.
Odinga says the country must now borrow external best practices to help turn around the sector.
He noted that the country has the capacity to produce enough sugar for consumption and the surplus exported to other countries.
The meeting is being attended by Governors, Senators and MPs within the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB).