Sugarcane farmers’ union to lobby members to vote leaders who safeguard their interests

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Sugarcane farmers in the country through their union have vowed to vote in leaders in the forthcoming general elections who will champion for their rights and plight of the sector.

Through the Kenya National Federation of Sugarcane Farmers, the group said their interests in sugarcane growing counties of Coast, Western and Rift Valley are yet to be met despite several promises.

Federation Secretary General Ezra Olodi said as farmers they have waiting for the implementation of the sugar task-force report commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta to no avail.

Olodi said as farmers they will start by putting to task all current elected leaders from sugarcane growing sectors seeking re-election or change of their positions with voters what they have done for them.

He said through the federation branches and leadership around sugarcane growing zones they have already started to mobilize members to ensure they are registered as voters ahead of next polls.

On 24 February 2020, Kenyatta promised to implement recommendations of the sugar task-force as part of ongoing efforts to revive the sector which was headed by Agriculture CS Peter Munya and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.

The report wanted the re-introduction of the sugar levy, privatization of public sugar mills to enhance their efficiency and the enactment of the Sugar Act.

The sugar levy will be charged on consumers so as to raise the revenue needed to assist farmers to develop their sugarcane crop.

Other proposed reforms include the gazettement of the sugar sector regulations including import rules, amendment of the AFA Act and Crops Act in line with the 2010 Constitution, and a review of the taxation regime in the sector to enhance investor incentives.

He said the move by Munya is positive but sugar directorate should ensure the people in the industry will know the matter on sugar.

By LTN Reporter