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Kakamega committee to table report in 30 days

By David Mwaura | Nov 3rd 2018 | 2 min read
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.

A task force is set to table reports on the ailing sugar industry to the president in 30 days.

The sugar industry task force committee co-chaired by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, is tasked with coming up with short term and long term measures that will help revive the industry.

Speaking at his office on Friday, Mr Oparanya said the committee has had its first meeting and the involvement of the National Government in the matter is key in reviving the industry.

“The committee has had its first meeting and we have identified various stakeholders in this particular industry. We have also reached to these stakeholders and they have forward us the names of their representatives in the committee. We will be able to table the reports to the president in 30 days.,” he said.

Privatization Commission and Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB), are among the stakeholders’ team identified by the committee which also constitute farmers, millers and the ministry of agriculture among others.

The committee has come up with both short term and long term measures; one Mr. Oparanya says if instituted properly, it will help salvage the sugar industry.

“The committee has agreed that paying of farmers should top the list of short term measures. This is to help motivate farmers who had abandoned sugarcane farming because of lack of payment. This will be the first step on ensuring the industry is ready to run,” he said.

Mr Oparanya added the industry doesn’t have enough sugarcane for processing, and the committee has come up with long term measures to address thart.

“We have come up with a two-year long term plan to help sustain the industry once revived. The sugarcane that is there can only be milled for a month to exhaustion. We therefore need enough cane to help sustain the industry,” he said.

Member counties of LREB earlier last month met to discuss reviving of the industries and identified over Sh. 89 billion of standing debt.

“The industry has accumulated a huge debt. We as LREB are unable to meet such debts as county governments. The coming on board of the national government is a big motivation to the industry. We are also optimistic the understanding between the national government and the opposition will help in our (the committee) operations,” said Mr. Oparanya.

President Uhuru Kenyatta during the Mashujaa Day celebrations apportioned Sh. 2.6 billion, directed to the payment of farmers and to aid in the reinforcement of the industry.

Among the collapsed industries include, Mumias, Muhoroni, Miwani and Chemelil.

The committee was set to meet at the CS office yesterday, for the official launching of the committee.  

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