Nzoia Sugar CEO in tough task to rescue miller

Nzoia Sugar Company Managing Director Mr Michael Wanjala Makokha during the interview with Financial Standard in his office in Bungoma County. [James Wanzala,Standard]

Four months after taking over as Nzoia Sugar Company, chief executive Michael Wanjala has launched an aggressive plan to rescue the ailing factory.

Mr Wanjala took over a company that was chocking from huge debt and lack of raw materials, among other challenges.

After taking over the management in August, Mr Wanjala, 39, launched a rapid results initiative (RRI) meant to put the miller back to production.

“The RRI is where one derives most of the results using existing resources by not going outside your budget, but trying to have quick wins. It is anchored on agricultural strategy, considering it’s the source of the raw materials, sugar cane,” said Wanjala during a recent interview with The Standard at his Bungoma office.

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“The factory has 23,600 hectares of the nucleus and when I asked my colleagues, I was told about 1,000 hectares was fallow. I launched a programme to plant the nucleus using a volunteer programme involving the community and staff among other willing persons.”

Today, they have reclaimed 300 acres and weeded about 78 through the same volunteer labour programme.

Wanjala wants to move the company closer to the farmers by organising the sugar miller’s 26 outreach offices in four regions.

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He also plans to work in those regional offices once a month to have direct contact with farmers on cane harvesting, planting and providing farm inputs.

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Financial Standard