The cyclical problem experienced by sugar cane farmers in Kenya has attracted the attention of opposition leader Raila Odinga who on Monday held a consultative meeting with Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri together with other leaders in a bid to resolve the matter in the sugarcane sector.
Addressing the press after the meeting, Odinga reiterated the problems the sugarcane farmers have been going through for more than a decade and promised to engage all the relevant stakeholders to reach to a permanent solution.
He added that the arrears in the sugarcane sector have caused a lot of suffering to the farmers and the government is tirelessly working to ensure a viable solution to the problem has been gotten.
“The sugar sector has experienced problems for a very long time and this has caused a lot of suffering to our farmers who play a very critical role in the agriculture sector. We are however working hard and the government is looking for a permanent solution to the problem and soon the sugarcane sector will be serene,” he said
He asked the farmers to stay calm as a meeting is set for Monday next week in Kisumu where all leaders will be involved in consultative deliberations that will lead to a better solution.
Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri backed Raila Saying that president Uhuru Kenyatta has agreed that they hold another meeting where all the leaders in the sugarcane will be involved and come up with a resolution to the problem.
Kiunjuri said that the ministry has started paying farmers and a number of them have been receiving payments since Wednesday February 27, and that they will make sure all of them receive their payments.
“We started paying farmers on Wednesday last week and even today I am sure some farmers have received their money. We are acting responsibly in order to totally do away with the problem,” said the CS
The sugacaner and maize sectors are the major sectors in Agriculture and the most affected areas in the country .
For almost two decades, sugar cane farmers have not been spared from the mysteries of delayed payment .
Their situation is worse considering that sugarcane takes quite a long time to mature and once delivered to the factories, the farmers could be fully depending on payment from the sugarcane.
Despite vibrant promises from the government every day, farmers have for a very long time suffered.
All eyes are set for the Monday meeting which will hopefully settle for a better solution