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Farmers push for privatisation of Butali Sugar

By | September 13th 2009

By John Oywa

Sugar cane farmers in Busia, Teso and Ugenya districts want the Government to include the yet-to-be built Butali Sugar factory in its privatisation programme.

The farmers said the planned sugar mill whose construction has stalled since the early 1990 would never take off if it was left out of the privatisation of state sugar firms.

Kenya Sugar Cane Growers Association (Kesga) officials said the Government needs to identify a private investor to take over the moribund that has been used as political carrot since its inception more than twenty years ago.

Kesga’s National Deputy Secretary General, Ibrahim Juma said the Butali Sugar company had more than 10,000 registered farmers and a nucleus farm measuring more than 12,000 ha.

The farmers living in the three districts were delivering their cane to Mumias Sugar Company, some 60 kms away.

"The more than 10,000 farmers would be doomed if the Butali sugar company is not put on the list of firms to be privatised," said Mr Juma.He added: "Busia sugar farmers are being left out in the privatisation exercise and we are appealing to the Government to re-look at the plan," aid Mr Juma.

According to the Privatisation Commission Chief Exceutive Officer, Solomon Kitungu and Chairman Peter Kimuyu, the companies were supposed to be privatised within the next 14 months.

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