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Sony Factory Faces Closure as Cane Supplies Drops Drastically

The Awendo based South Nyanza Sugar Company (SONY) Board Chairman Jared Kopiyo has said that the plant is currently threatened with closure following acute shortage of sugar.

Speaking at the factory over the weekend, Mr Kopiyo said the facility is operating below its capacity as it is forced to wait for up to seven or more days to run its machines as the cane is collected from various farms.

He said that the factory was likely to close business soon unless farmers make urgent efforts of increasing their cane deliveries to boost crashing and production of white sugar.

The chairman who is also a former Awendo MP said it was time farmers made more quick deliveries of their produce to the factory to make it crush cane 24 hours a day.

“It is worrying that the management is now forced to switch off the machines for up to seven days waiting for farmers to deliver their produce to the plant before starting crashing again,” said Kopiyo.

He argued that the trend of first collecting enough cane at the cane yard then reverting back to crashing was a waste of time and causing a lot of delays in sugar production, noting that it was preventing the factory from building a strong capital base to allow the company meet its debt and wage-bill obligations.

Kopiyo said currently, the company owes farmers, workers, supplies and other service providers billions of shillings accrued in a span of three years due to its low operation. He disclosed that the machine was currently in its best status and it was only lack of cane that was preventing it from operating at its maximum levels.

Company Managing Director (MD) Stephen Ligawa said the company is currently focused seriously on cane development programme to ensure that in the next few months the factory would receive enough cane from both its nucleus and contracted farmers.

Mr Ligawa disclosed that the management has been keen to pay debts every week especially those owed to farmers. “We are working hard to ensure that the level of debts owed to farmers, suppliers and other service providers are reduced drastically by the end of the year,” he said.

By George Agimba


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