By Governor’s Press Unit
The County Government of Kakamega has set aside Sh100 million for cane development in Mumias zone to ensure a steady supply of the cash crop to Mumias Sugar Company once it resumes operations.
Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said the funds, already factored in the County’s financial year 2020/2021 budget, will be put in a revolving fund and given out as loans to cane farmers to boost production of the crop.
A majority of farmers have quit cane farming because of the financial challenges they faced following the collapse of the factory, a main source of income for them. The county in partnership with the factory has started reaching out to farmers to resume cane growing.
“The department of Agriculture will identify farmers who will benefit from this programme before disbursement of funds; we have followed all the required rules and regulations in setting up the fund,” Governor Oparanya said.
He called on farmers and leaders from the region to support the initiative to ensure that the factory gets enough raw materials to enable it run continuously once it starts sugar production.
Oparanya also held a meeting with a delegation from the Commodities Fund led
the chairman of the board of trustees Mr. Mwancha Okioma at the County headquarters, Kakamega.
The Commodities Fund is mandated to provide sustainable and affordable credit and advances to the agricultural sector.
Some of the key outcomes of the meeting were to come up with an agreement to cooperate in financing sugarcane farmers in the wider Mumias region to the tune of between Sh300-500 million
That the County to contract Commodities Fund to manage the Sugarcane Fund budgeted for in the 2020/21 financial year where the Commodities Fund to send resident staff to Kakamega to manage the funds allocate
That The County Government of Kakamega to organise a launch of the Fund based on COVID-19 regulations.
That the Governor and the Fund chairman to intervene on behalf of former Mumias Outgrowers Company (MOCO) to waive their debt amounting to Ksh. 200M to enable the outgrowers be back on their feet. The signing of MOU to be done in the next two weeks
These resolutions will go a long way in boosting cane development in the Western region.
Madam Nancy Cheruiyot, the Fund’s Managing Trustee and Valentine Gari a credit officer were also present.