President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Ministry of Agriculture and the Treasury to put in place a framework to pay sugarcane farmers their Sh 2.6 billion arrears.
Uhuru said the amount should be audited first before payments are made for cane delivery.
The Head of State spoke on Saturday at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega during celebrations to mark Mashujaa Day.
“My administration has consistently focused on supporting sugarcane farming and production. It is not acceptable that factories have been collecting cane from farmers and not paying for it yet the demand for sugar is on the rise,” he said.
Premier miller Mumias Sugar Company has been shut down because of a Sh20 billion debt.
The factory owes cane farmers more than Sh 700 million. Other public millers are Sony, Muhoroni, Nzoia, Chemilil and Miwani.
Uhuru said the people who embezzled money meant for farmers must be pursued and prosecuted.
“I encourage farmers to sell their produce to factories that are well run and which pay on time. Selling cane to the informal markets is undermining the farmers’ incomes and reversing the development of a proper sugar industry,” he said.
The President met leaders from Western Kenya three weeks ago and discussed the revival of the sugar industry.