The management of Mumias Sugar Company has initiated outreach programmes within its cane growing zones to persuade farmers back to cane farming.
Managing Director Nashon Aseka was on Saturday joined by two MPs from the Mumias cane growing zones to address farmers from Matungu on the importance of embarking on cane farming.
Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali and his Matungu counterpart Justus Murunga said they had reached out to other legislators from Mumias sugar zone and resolved to work together to win back farmers’ loyalty to the sugar firm.
Hundreds of farmers, five members of the Kakamega County Assembly who come from Matungu and chiefs and their assistants also attended the two meetings held on Saturday at Matungu grounds and Koyonzo in Matungu Constituency.
The farmers were given the opportunity to ask questions and give their views on how they want to relate with Mumias Sugar.
The politicians condemned the former managers – Coutts Otolo and Eroll Johnson – of wrongfully spending the Sh3.2 billion government bailout.
“Mr Aseka was only given Sh500 million and has been able to revive the factory, while Sh3.2 billion was given to former managers but [they] never made any successful progress,” said Mr Washiali.
Mr Murunga said the smallholder farmers are the livelihood of Mumias and asked the managing director to value them.
“These small people you see here hold the source of revenue of the factory. Work closely with them and you will get the raw material to steer forward the plant,” said Mr Murunga.
He said he had taken the lead in the Mumias Sugar outreach programmes because it was one of his campaign promises.