Governent urged to enact sugar bill.
The government has been urged to enact the crops amendment bill 2016 to streamline the sugar sector.
Mr. Charles Owelle Federation of Kenya Employers Western Region president has said the bill was key in taming sugar cane poaching which is to blame for the collapse of public sugar factories in the region.
Mr. Owelle who is also the managing Director of Muhoroni Sugar factory said due to cane poaching, factories in the area were crushing below capacity making it impossible to pay farmers promptly.
“Private sugar factories engaging in cane poaching are to blame for the shortage we are experiencing and this bill is critical in helping us address this matter,” he said.
He further asked the government to accelerate privatization of sugar factories to enhance their capacity to produce more and compete effectively with mushrooming private firms adding public sugar factories were struggling to cope up with debts and payment of salaries due to the low production.
“Our equipment is aging and our uptake of new technology is low due to lack of funds,” he said urging County Governments to work on access roads to make it easier for those transporting sugarcane from farms to the factories.
The roads, he said were in bad shape causing transporters huge losses in forms of repairs and fuel.
Owelle took issue with Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) for the frequent power blackouts. The outages, he said have damaged equipment and affected production urging KPLC to step up the supply.
By Chris Mahandara.