Farmers call for neutral meeting point with sugar Task Force

Cane farmers in Busia address media at a local hotel where they called for neutral meeting point with sugar Task Force on January 16,2019. [Photo: Ignatius Odanga/Standard]

Farmers in Busia have opposed plan by the sugar Task Force to meet them at the premises of the two sugar mills in the region.

The programme released by Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Mwangi Kiunjuri the team will tomorrow morning hold a consultative forum with farmers at the Busia Sugar then in the afternoon they will meet another group of farmers at the Olepito Sugar factory.

This has not gone down well with farmers who have demanded the meeting be held a neutral venue and to them Agricultural Training Centre (ATC) is an ideal place for such meeting.

The angry farmers argued that having two meetings held differently was tantamount to dividing them (farmers) since Busia Sugar and Olepito are barely 10 kilometers apart.

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One of the farmers Peter Odima said farmers may give the meeting a wide berth if the Task Force co-chaired by CS Kiunjuri and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya insists to hold them at the factories.

“The Task Force is supposed to listen to farmers by organizing event at a neutral place but not to force us to converge at Olepito or Busia Sugar,” he said.

Doima further castigated the move by the Task Force to push respective factories to fund for the function and facilitate the farmers who will attend.

“The team was constituted by the President therefore our understanding is that the state is funding all the activities, but we are surprised that the factories have asked to shoulder all the costs,” said Odima.

Former director of the Busia Out-growers Company (Boco) Lambert Ogochi said farmers allied to a particular sugar factory will attend. Monica Mungala took issues with composition arguing that it was dominated by leaders from one county.

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FarmersBusiaTask ForceATCMwangi KiunjuriKakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya