The cash-trapped Sony Sugar Company says it has lost Sh2.3 billion invested in cane development due to cane poaching.
The money was advanced to farmers in the form of loans and was to be recovered from their deliveries to the miller.
But according to Managing Director James Oluoch, the recovery process has become untenable, with a majority of its contracted farmers choosing to deliver their cane elsewhere.
He said they had taken up the matter with the Sugar Directorate in a bid to recover the money. “We have also reported the matter to the office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Agriculture. They are, however, yet to take action,’’ said Mr Oluoch in an interview.
He said the firm had invested heavily in the cane development initiative to ensure adequate and sustained supply of the raw material. Kenya National Federation of Sugarcane Farmers Migori Branch Secretary Argwings Adongo said farmers had opted to sell their cane to rival millers due to delayed payments.
“This is because while the cane is to be harvested after 18 months, it sometimes took more than a year,’’ he said.