Cane farmers want deal with Uganda cancelled


cane farmers
cane farmers

Cane farmers from Migori County have expressed their disappointment with the contentious sugar deal allegedly signed between Kenya and Uganda.

The farmers threatened to use their votes in the 2017 elections to express their dissatisfaction with the pact which will see Uganda export what is considered surplus sugar to Kenya.

They called on the President Uhuru Kenyatta to revoke the agreement signed during his three-day state visit to Uganda a fortnight ago to safeguard the ailing sugar industry.

So grievous is the issue that the farmers have called for a convention at the county offices in Awendo to chant a way forward amid rising storm between the opposition CORD and the Jubilee government over the details of the deal.

But even before the 2017 elections, the Chairman of Kenya Federation of Sugarcane Farmers Sony branch John Odondi Omollo, has said that the farmers will come up with a drastic course of action to push the government to revoke the deal.

“The sugar deal between Kenya and Uganda is dangerous for the local sugar industry and will affect families that depend on sugarcane to earn a living,” said Omollo.

He said the decision made by the government to sign the pact shows the president’s inconsideration of the people of the Western sugar belt who depend on the sector.

His sentiments were echoed by Philip Odero, a member of the association, who urged Deputy President William Ruto and other leaders to stop politicising the matter and instead focus on the real issue.

The farmers maintained that they have enough sugarcane to produce sugar that will meet the country’s demand refuting reports that there is a sugar shortage in the country.

South Sakwa Ward representative Jared Osawa and his counterpart Jonson Owiro has called on the farmers to make good use of the planned meeting to air their grievances on the sugar issue.

 

Report by George Juma

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