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Farmers offer to help miller in cane transportation

By Brian Kisanji | Published Fri, September 14th 2018 at 00:00, Updated September 13th 2018 at 23:22 GMT +3
A delegation of farmers who on Wednesday offered transportation services to Mumias Sugar Company. [Photo: Standard]

Farmers have offered to help transport sugarcane to a sugar miller to help it restart its operations.

More than 30 farmers on Wednesday pledged to mobilise trucks to ferry cane to the Mumias Sugar Company factory, which has shut down due to shortage of raw materials.

Contracted transporters have failed to reach an agreement with the company to resume operations.

The factory failed to start operating last month, as had earlier been announced, after the transporters demanded to be paid Sh40 million upfront out of the Sh81 million the company owes them.

A farmers' delegation that visited the firm on Wednesday promised to support the current management and appealed to the Government to make more bailout fund available.

The farmers said they had mobilised 50 trucks to ferry cane. They request that the company management pay for the services upon delivery.

No preconditions  

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“Our arrangement, if accepted, will see the cane that is overgrowing in some of the farms harvested and brought to the miller without other preconditions,” said Bruno Anekeya, who led the farmers' delegation.

He said the offer was prompted by farmers' concern over the long time it has taken the miller to resume operations.

The miller owes farmers Sh700 million for cane supplied over several year.

The company management welcomed the offer, saying it was noble for the farmers to come on board.

“We are excited that they gave such a proposal, but we first have to know if the cane they will deliver will be enough to start milling operations again,” said the acting chief executive officer, Patrick Chebosi.

He asked all stakeholders to support the company.

The management said it was working to fix a date for the factory to resume milling and that this would depend on the quantity of the sugarcane it received.

The company has resumed processing ethanol.


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