Relief for Cane Farmers As Govt Allocates Sh1.7bn To Clear Arrears

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Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi has asked parliamentarians to issue a certificate for a debt write-off for state-owned sugar companies currently in a cash crunch.

Speaking before the National Assembly Agriculture Committee, Linturi said cane farmers are expected to benefit from the 2023/2024 Supplementary Budget through an allocation of 1.7 Billion Shillings to compensate farmers in Nzoia, Muhoroni, Chemelili, SONY and Miwani state-owned mills.

This allocation follows recommendations made by the Committee on Agriculture and Livestock on a Report regarding the Action Plan to Revitalise the Sugar Sector.

He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to reviving the sugar industry as he pointed out that a government bailout will not provide a long-term solution.

The government has written off 117 billion shillings in debt, including 53 billion owed to creditors by Nzoia Sugar, to revive the financially distressed companies.

In the meeting chaired by John Mutunga (Tigania West), Members of the Committee put Linturi and his delegation to the task as they reviewed the Supplementary Budget for FY 23/24.

Lawmakers’ raised pertinent questions regarding, the duplication of functions within agencies that have undertaken overlapping farmer and livestock registration initiatives in the past.

“Farmer and Livestock registration should be harmonized across all 47 counties. The Ministry needs to have a streamlined approach to data management and dissemination to avoid duplication,” Mutunga said.

The MPs also sought updates on the payment status to Small Scale Grain Millers who supplied maize during the 2022 maize subsidy programme.

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