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Politicians join sugarcane farmers to reject zoning

Curtis Otieno
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A sugarcane truck. [Source/Kenyan Wall Street/Twitter]

Sugarcane farmers drawn from South Nyanza regions have rejected the government's plans to zone production of the crop in the area.

The farmers and a section of area politicians on Wednesday said that the move would be counterproductive, considering that farmers will be forced to cope with a universal price.

Through South Nyanza Sugarcane Growers Forum (SNSGF) Chair Vitalis Okinda, they said that the move will slowly by slowly kill the product produced in the area.

“Our fear is that zoning may confine farmers to a sugar miller that does not pay well. This will kill the morale of farmers who will eventually stop sugarcane production,” Okinda was quoted by the Standard.

He was speaking during a forum attended by farmers in Ndiwa sub-county in Homa Bay County.

He urged the national and Homa Bay county governments to come on board and intervene by reducing the cost of sugarcane production.

On its side, the county through Agriculture CEC Aguko Juma supported the farmers, saying that zoning would kill monopoly, instead advocating for competition between millers.

"We want a sugar sector where all millers compete equally for sugarcane to enable farmers to benefit,” he said.

The national government was represented by the Ministry of Agriculture's Zakayo Magara who promised to present the issues raised on the national platform.

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