Nzoia Sugar Company in Bungoma County has resumed milling operations after a two-month recess to carry out maintenance service.
The company MD Chrispine Ogutu says that the servicing of milling machines is envisaged to radically reduce operational costs from Sh9 million that the factory has been injecting into electricity bills per month to around Sh3.5million.
Ogutu added that before the maintenance, the company’s boilers couldn’t generate enough steam to run the turbines and boil sugar.
In addition, Ogutu noted that the factory was using Sh8, 500 to produce 150kg of sugar, which he said is very high thus eating into profits and added that this cost will too reduce by half.
“I want to assure stakeholders that after this maintenance service, the company will now be working at a profit and guarantee that workers and farmers who bring in their cane are paid on time,” Ogutu said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the company on August 2 this year and gave out a Sh500 million cash boost to offset farmers’ arrears totaling about Sh450 million and use the remaining to pay workers’ salaries.
“We are not here for stories but work in ensuring that this sector gets the necessary support,” Uhuru said then.
President Uhuru then directed CS Defence, Eugene Wamalwa and area Mp Athanas Wamunyinyi who were present to ensure the factory resumes crushing on Sunday, August 9, as per the assurance of the MD Mr. Ogutu.
On farmers’ payment, Ogutu noted that over Sh235 million of the money released by the President has already been credited to farmers’ accounts.
He said the remaining workers and farmers will be paid this week.
Ogutu stated that the names of all farmers owed by the company had already been uploaded onto the system for payment.
Defense CS Eugene Wamalwa lauded the President for keeping his word to support the sugar sector before his term comes to an end.
“The President has kept his word to make sure that sugar farmers are paid on time and that Nzoia factory does not collapse,” Wamalwa said.
Wamalwa noted that the factory is now expected to improve efficiency and cash flow thus serve farmers better.
By Roseland Lumwamu