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West Kenya Sugar Company says cane farmers paid weekly

Rai told the National Assembly Implementation Committee members that the company receives sugarcane from willing farmers who are paid on a weekly basis/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 23 – West Kenya Sugar Company Managing Director Jaswant Rai has denied allegations that his company has been practicing cane poaching in Western Kenya.

Rai told the National Assembly Implementation Committee members that the company receives sugarcane from willing farmers who are paid on a weekly basis.

“These are allegations… our company collaborates with farmers who supply us with cane and are paid within seven days so the issue of poaching is mere accusations with no basis,” he said.

“We also have contracts with several farmers who are our suppliers and thus we are not doing business at expense of other people.”

He further defended his company saying it has a legal license contrary to claims raised in a report by National Assembly Agriculture Committee on the crisis facing sugar industry.

“West Sugar Company is not a new company and we all know that. It has been in existence for many years and reports that it is not licensed are total lies,” Rai added.

His Butali counterpart Jayanti Patel on the other hand warned that the government will continue losing revenue amounting to billions of shillings, if rules and regulations governing importation of sugar are not implemented.

“The importance of the sugar sector in the country cannot be underestimated. Revival of this sector will contribute over Sh90 billion in gross turnovers to both the national and county governments, much more than importation does.” Patel outlined.

According to Patel, the average local sugar consumption in the country is at 810,000 Metric Tonnes and as a result of high importation, local production has fallen to 450,000 Tonnes, yielding a deficit of 360,000 Metric Tonnes.

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