Farmers and political leaders in south Nyanza yesterday rejected plans to zone sugarcane production.
Through the South Nyanza Sugarcane Growers Forum (SNSGF) the farmers told the the Sugar Reforms Task-force the zoning would be counterproductive. In a memorandum presented to the task-force by SNSGF Chairman Vitalis Okinda and Secretary Silus Makotieno, the farmers said zoning would kill farmers' morale.“Our fear is that zoning may confine farmers to a sugar miller that does not pay well. This will kill morale of farmers who will eventually stop sugarcane production,” Mr Okinda said during a public participation forum in Ndhiwa constituency.Homa Bay Agriculture Executive Aguko Juma, county assembly agriculture committee chairman Julius Nyambok, committee members Nicholas Owaka, Charles Awino and the County Assembly Majority Leader Walter Muok said zoning would create a monopoly in the sugar sector. “We want a sugar sector where all millers compete equally for sugarcane to enable farmers benefit,” Mr Juma (right) said.
Mr Owaka urged the county and national governments to empower sugarcane farmers by reducing the cost of production. The Ministry of Agriculture’s Zakayo Magara, who chaired the meeting, promised to present the views to the government for further scrutiny.