The government has released Sh500 million to Nzoia sugar company in Bungoma County for payment of cane arrears.
In a press release, Nzoia Sugar Company acting Managing director Chrispine Omondi hailed the cabinet secretary for agriculture Peter Munya for making it a reality.
“During this year’s Mashujaa day celebrations in Kirinyaga county, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a stimulus package of Sh1.5 billion to assist state owned sugar mills to pay farmer’s arrears and carry out factory maintenance,” he said.
Omondi added, “The ministry of agriculture, livestock, fisheries and cooperative dispatched Auditors to review the farmers payment records and a team of Engineers to assess the factory requirements. This activity was completed and reports submitted to the ministry,”.
He added that after Munya visiting the firm on November 8 and announced that Sh500 million out of Sh1.5 billion earmarked for sugar companies would be allocated to Nzoia sugar company the money has since hit the farmers accounts.
He said that at the time the CS was visiting the firm, it owed farmers Sh733,688,523 while the factory required Sh339 million for maintenance.
“The amount allocated to Nzoia sugar company was therefore appropriated in amounts of Sh283,354,847 for farmers and Sh216,645,154 for factory maintenance,” he said.
Omondi confirmed that payment to farmers representing 38.62 percent of the total arrears has already been disbursed to farmers accounts for cane deliveries covering March 2019, December 2020 and January to October 2021. The balance for factory maintenance is being awaited.
“Meanwhile, we would like to assure all our farmers that the company will put strategies to ensure that the remaining balance will be cleared as soon as possible,” the MD said.
Munya had said that out of the total Sh500 million to Sh200 million will go towards the factory maintenance while Sh300 million will go towards farmers and workers payment.