Kenyans have been urged to stand up and defend sugarcane farmers in the country following the controversial sugar trade deal between Kenya and Uganda.
Kisumu County Assembly Chief Whip Isaiah Onyango said the deal is going to affect sugarcane farmers. This alternative source of sugar will cripple the local sugar production and frustrate local sugarcane farmers further.
If we allow them to import sugar that means we have to lose jobs in the sugar farming areas which will subject our people to languish in extreme poverty, Onyango said.
Sugar factories in the country are in blink of collapse, some have blamed it on cheap imports and others have blamed it on cane poachers and COMESA regulations.
Whatever blame is attached to the sector; many state-owned factories are going down the drain and with the import of more sugar it will naturally kill the once vibrant sugar industry.
He said most Western Kenya farmers rely on sugarcane as their main cash crop and instead of being uplifted the government is keen on killing the sector adding that they started by the factories and now import of sugar.
Companies have closed and no action as seen to be taken by the government l like in the Chemelil sugar growing zone and its environs, only Chemelil Sugar Company is still running. The future of Chemelil is bleak due to mushrooming sugar cane poachers in the company’s cane catchment.
As at now, many farmers are selling their cane to cane poachers who are located around Chemelil and Awasi areas.
Onyango who is also the Railways Ward Representative want all these problems bedeviling the sugar industry be address so that the country can know where they get their shortcoming from to import from Uganda.
Let the government address all these challenges that we are seeing in the sugar belt is when we can be told to import, we want realistic approaches to our problems so that we do away with them, said Onyango
Speaking to the press at the Kisumu County Assembly compound, Onyango says sugarcane farmers have been neglected as other farmers continue to get support from the government something that must be addressed.
Our farmers have been neglected for so long and we need the government to bring actionable desion to uplift the standard of their lings not killing them in a soft way, said Onyango
He says cotton sector in Nyanza region went under due to bad polices by the government while the fishing sector is on its knees.
The government in the previous regime deliberately killed the once vibrant cotton ginnery in this region a system that we are seeing cropping back by this government to kill sugar, Said Onyango
Onyango says the factories in the region are employing a number of people and if they can collapse the rate of unemployment will shoot up.
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