Business

We won’t accept less than Sh6,050 for cane, farmers declare

Friday, February 23rd, 2024 08:30 | By
We won’t accept less than Sh6,050 for cane, farmers declare
Sugar. PHOTO/Print

PRICING:  Cane farmers have put sugar millers on notice that henceforth, they won’t be paid less than Sh6,050 per tonne for cane delivered to the factories for milling.

The farmers declared that the payment per tonne as from this month will only be reviewed upwards and not downwards as has been the trend for many years. This is part of the resolutions cane growers from Western Kenya reached, during a heated consultative forum held at a Kisumu hotel to discuss the industry’s recurring problems. Connelly Serem, chairperson of the Agriculture Food Authority (AFA) convened the meeting attended by more than 200 farmers from the entire sugar belt region.

AFA is a State Corporation in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives, with a primary role to regulate, develop and promote scheduled crops value chains for increased economic growth in Kenya. Jude Chesire, the boss of Sugar Directorate, one of the eight directorates under AFA, told the Business Hub, that they had unanimously agreed to cap the cane prices per tonne at the current Sh6,050.

“But we will convene cane pricing committee (CPC), meetings each month to review the prices based on the sugar market sales trends,’’ he explained. However, farmers, through Kenya National Federation of Sugarcane farmers declared that cane prices will only be reviewed upwards and not downwards again.

The federation’s Secretary General Killion Osur and Chairman Ezra Okoth, told millers that they will mobilise farmers not to accept anything less than Sh6,050

“We want cane farmers to earn what is commensurate with their sweat. We will not allow excuses that there is excess supply of sugar in the local markets, No,’’ declared Osur.

As things stand, the cane price committee sat last month, and fixed the new cane price to Sh6,050, but farmers claim even this is too little and want Sh10,000 per tonne.

                           

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