The Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Agriculture Festus Mwangi Kiunjiri and opposition leader Raila Odinga are leading a major sugar stakeholders' meeting at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel, in the outskirts of Kisumu Town.
The meeting which comes barely a week after the former premier and the CS among other stakeholders met at Capitol Hill offices in Nairobi is a fulfilment of a promise made by the later to have another stakeholders' meeting in Kisumu today.
Among the issues under discussion at the meeting are the privatisation of sugar companies, payment of farmers, and investment in new machinery among others as listed last week by the former premier.
“Many sugarcane farmers are crying because they have not been paid even after taking their cane to various industries. That is why I sat down with the President and we have agreed that we will have a meeting with leaders in the sugar sector on March 11, 2019, in Kisumu to discuss the issue of privatisation of the sugar sector,” disclosed Raila.
“We want investors to bring new machines and money so that we end the challenges being witnessed in the sugar sector,” he added.
Additionally, the stakeholders among them governors, Members of Parliament and sugar cane farmers are expected to explore the possibility of construction of roads in the sugar belts to make transportation of cane to sugar factories easy.
The meeting comes as farmers in Western and Nyanza regions continue to receive payment for sugar cane supplied to sugar factories years ago.
The payment amounts to over 2 billion shillings the farmers were demanding from the factories.