Sony raised Sh250m internally for factory maintenance giving farmers, workers owed Sh1bn hope

A Sony Sugar tractor in Awendo town

By MN Reporter

Workers and sugarcane farmers allied to South Nyanza Sugar Company owed over Sh1billion in arrears have hope after the government miller internally raised Sh250million for much needed maintenance.

In an interview with the press in his office, the company’s Managing Director Stephen Ligawa said from October 1, they had been acquiring machine parts in weekly payment mode and managed to get Sh100million worth of equipment.

“We made an arrangement with certain suppliers whom we were paying in installments by October last year, we raised the rest from other stakeholders,” Ligawa said.

This was despite the firm formally requesting for Sh300 million from the government for maintenance out of which Sh250million was approved and has never been handed over to them.

Sony did its last comprehensive maintenance in 2015 and have been surviving on makeshift maintenance using inferior equipment which saw a lot of breakdown and inability to reach her 2700-tonne-per-day sugarcane crushing capacity.

“We had to try to keep on limping despite not running well for the months of April and May. We had foreseen this since we started operations in September last year,” Ligawa said.

The struggling miller owes farmers about Sh500 million and its staffs over Sh500 million hopes that with the maintenance which was completed a week ago, things will be better.

The company has over 10, 000 contracted farmers.