Private Firms To Take Up Limping Sugar Cane Millers

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With the struggling sugar millers, government officials have seen it fit to involve the private sector to stabilize the situation.

Mr Mwangi Kiunjuri, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary said the Government together with other players were set to privatize the under performing cane millers “that are struggling in a competitive market”.

“For 20 years we have been facing challenges on how to pay our farmers; this is set to change as our farmers will be smiling all the way to the bank,” Mr Kiunjuri said after a meeting with ODM party leader Raila Odinga.

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Mr Odinga said the government for a long time has been pumping billions into the sugarcane industry but the problem of delayed payment to farmers has persisted.

He said private investors will come on board and inject more money and new machines, especially to the public sugar milling companies such as Chemelil, Miwani, Muhoroni, Nzoia and Sony Sugar that are on their deathbeds.

The final details of the privatisation, Mr Odinga said, will be discussed on Monday next week in Kisumu during a major cane stakeholders meeting.

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“There is need for permanent solution and the Monday meeting will address all the issues,” Mr Odinga said.

He said the injection of private capital in the firms will go a long way in rehabilitating and modernising the millers for competitive and sustainable production.

The former Prime Minister was accompanied by former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma who was recently appointed chairperson of the Privatisation Commission and officials from the Ministry of Agriculture.

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Mr Odinga regretted that the sugar industry has been brought down to its knees due to corruption and mismanagement.

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