Kenya Union of Sugarcane Plantation and Allied Workers (KUSPAN) has moved to court seeking to bring to book the Secretary Cabinet for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Mithika Linturi.
The petition requires the Mithika Linturi conduct investigation on how Agriculture And Food Authority( AFA) granted a milling company license to Sarri Group that invested in Mumias Company without having a proper base for production.
The union which is headed by Patrick Mutimba, chairman for Mumias sugar branch wants the AFA and the county government to bar millers who do not invest in cane development to stop milling in the region.
The Sarrai Group which commenced its operation in Kenya on Dec 22, 2021 as Mumias Company Sugar new management began its operations six months later by producing sugar for the company and engaging local farmers in the sugar cane planting.
However, the union claims that the group has started harvesting sugar without having substantial planning for sugarcane development which has attributed to deficit in sugarcane production and closure of major factories in the region.
The union also sent a letter to the county governor Fernandes Barasa on Monday last week that indicated seven major million factories i.e. Nzoia sugar, Olepito Sugar, West Kenya Sugar, Busia Sugar, Butali Sugar, Mumias Sugar and Naitiri Sugar which has led to 50000 people in the region jobless.
Local farmers also came in protests over the Sarrai Group miscalculations that has contributed to the shortage of sugarcane.
” The Sarrai Group rushed to start milling what other factories planted, reaping where they did not sow and led to closure of all the factories,” Mr Mudialo said.
Joseph another farmer added that factories should stop the bad habit of not developing their own cane and supporting farmers and their continuation of poaching available canes would jeopardize the sugar cane sub sector.
The local farmers have threatened to protest at the AFA offices if they would allow any factory to continue operations without investing in cane developments when the factories reopen in four months.