Cane farmers to be paid Sh25 million a fortnight
Sony Sugar Company has agreed to pay cane farmers Sh25 million every fortnight as it struggles to clear a hugdebt owned to the farmers.
The Awendo-based miller penned the deal after holding a meeting with the farmers.
The company called an impromptu meeting following protests by farmers who claimed that the company was asking them to supply more sugarcane yet it had not paid them for previous deliveries.
According to Sony Sugar’s Managing Director Bernard Otieno, the company owes farmers a total of Sh612 million.
The Government has agreed to pay farmers Sh512 million, leaving Sony Sugar with only Sh100 million to clear the debt.
The miller will settle this under a new arrangement it has with the farmers.
The Sh512 million is part of the Sh2.6 billion the Government has promised to give struggling millers. The money was factored in a supplementary budget that is yet to be approved.
The farmers, led by Kenya National Sugarcane Federation officials Secretary General Ezra Okoth, told Sony Sugar to honour its word.
“We want the company to make good its promise now as we wait for the supplementary budget approvals,” said Okoth.
Sony Sugar Board Chairman Owino Likowa told the farmers that the miller had received communication from the Cabinet secretary for Agriculture that it would get the Sh512 million once Parliament approved the supplementary budget.
“As things stand, we cannot do anything about the Sh512 million until Parliament approves it. But we are committed to paying Sh25 million after every two weeks,” Mr Likowa said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, while on a recent visit in Muhoroni, disclosed that cane farmers have to wait for the supplementary budget to be passed.
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