Sugarcane farmers differ on privatisation of government millers

Sony Sugar Company

By MN Reporter

Sugarcane farmers through their unions are sharply divided over ongoing privatisation and zoning debate.

The Kenya Federation  of Sugarcane Farmers Union (KFSFU) and Kenya National Alliance of Sugarcane Farmers (KNASF)  members have differed ahead of official government owned privatization drive.

KFSFU is led by its secretary general Ezra Okoth Olodi while the interim chairman of KNASF is Saulo Wanambisi.

On Friday, Wanambisi’s team met farmers in Ndhiwa and Rapogi area an move which Olodi’s team termed as unfortunate.

“There is an independent government task force to roll out exercise to collect views from us, Wanambisi’s team plan for public participation is against unity and has ulterior motive,” Olodi said.

The Ndhiwa region (KFSFU) chairman where Sukari Industries fall, George Atito accused their rivals of being out to “ misled farmers with the issue of  sugar cane importation, we support regional cane zoning.”

Wanambisi team supports calls for privatisation and zoning which has been accused of collapsing government owned millers by private ones.

 “We oppose the regional cane zoning and also support privatization, the reason why we form these parallel alliance is because farmers are not well represented  in the other task force formulated by the government,” said Wanambisi.

On November last year, Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri formed a task force to look into permanent ways of tackling the challenges facing the sugar sector he will co-chair with Kakamega governor Wycliff Oparanya.