Sugar cane farmers in Kisumu on Monday held peaceful protests demanding disbandment of the newly formed sugar task force by Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri.
They said they are not represented.
The angry farmers were carrying placards written – free market, no tribalism and monopoly in the sector.
They said the task force is not properly constituted and can therefore not provide solutions to revive the sector.
“The current government task force lacks farmers representation whose demand is for sustainable contract farming arrangement as a partnership for the growth of the industry in Kenya,” the former Chair Kenya Sugar Board Saul Busolo said.
The cane growers resolved to form the Kenya National Alliance of Sugarcane Farmer Organization (KNASFO) to address their challenges through an independent assessment of the sugar industry by themselves.
This will comprise of Kenya National Sugar Growers Association (KESGA), Kenya National Federation of Sugarcane Farmers (Federation) KASAP as well as other independent Private sugarcane farmers.
“Ours is a focused investigation into certain key factors that will bring out the interdependent relationship between growers and millers in the context where the industry develops commercially without any unnecessary government intervention,” Busolo noted.
They will undertake the assessment in 30 days and report to the President through the Agriculture CS who leads the task force.
The farmers also questioned why the ministry has never implemented any recommendations from the reports from different bodies concerning matters affecting the sector.
“This is why we believe that the current task force on sugar industry has no legal force, credibility or status. What is their recommendation going to amount to?” posed Richard Ogendo from KESGA.