The West Kenya sugar miller has invested Sh47 million in purchasing motorcycles to enhance support for cane farmers. With the local sugar industry facing a severe shortage of sugarcane, West Kenya is aiming to improve the mobility of its field staff, enabling easier access to farmers. In response to the closure of sugar factories due to the lack of cane supply, the Malava-based mill has launched an aggressive program to recruit more farmers for sugarcane cultivation.
The shutdown of local sugar factories has led to a significant increase in sugar prices. Currently, sugar is being sold at retail prices ranging between Sh220 and Sh230 per kilo, and between Sh430 and Sh440 for two kilos. Economic experts have warned that sugar prices are likely to continue rising due to the shortage of sugar in Comesa countries.
“Let our presence to the farmers be felt. What the farmers want is best services and ensure they are paid weekly. Our field staff should reach out to our farmers even those in areas that are not accessible, listen to them and offer timely solutions to concerns they have because they are our biggest and dependable partners,” Onkar said.
“The activities we are having now are not good for our company only but to the local sugar industry, we therefore have our work cut out in recruiting new farmers and retaining those already contracted to us by serving them well.”
During the distribution of 250 motorcycles, company director Onkar Rai attributed the factory’s progress to its partnership with cane farmers. He emphasized the company’s dedication to ensuring that farmers, who are the primary suppliers of raw materials, receive essential services right at their doorstep.