Hundreds of Sony Sugar Company farmers were all smiles after the government cleared all the arrears amounting to Sh138 millions owed to them by the company.
The cheque that was presented to the Company Managing Director Stephen Ligawa by the Housing Principal Secretary (PS) Mr. Charles Hinga, on behalf of Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mr. Peter Munya will be used to pay farmers arrears incurred after delivering their produce to Sony Sugar Company.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga said Sony had gone through a tough period of time rendering near insolvent with an accumulated debt amounting to Sh1.5 billion as a result of poor management and corruption.
“Sony’s problems cut across all semi-autonomous sugar factories in Kenya that have an accumulated debt of Sh7 billion. These problems can be resolved through strict reforms that include leasing of the plant to serious investors,” he said.
However, he said the sugar crop can still survive through improved managements, fighting corruption tendencies, getting rid of sugar barons who flood local markets with cheap sugar and doing away with old machines.
Odinga said Migori had the opportunity to expand cane growing through serious irrigation, adding that the Sony’s milling capacity can be able to be increased by 50,000 to 100,000 tons per day.
Currently, the miller has a crashing capacity of 2,200 tons per day with a profit margin of Sh300 million per Month.
Meanwhile, Raila who was in a tour of the region also graced the launch of Awendo Kenya Medical Training Centre where he said that the institution was bound to provide quality training to healthcare workers across the country.
Odinga stressed that health was a fundamental human right and cannot be taken as charity and on the same breath the government was keen to ensure that each county had a well-equipped and staffed level five hospital to offer the needed services.
“Good health is a key fundamental human right, we must be able to provide better healthcare for our people and today we have embarked on that course,” added Odinga. “The state would ensure that every sub county has a rollout of similar medical training facilities,” he said.
Cabinet Administration Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi who was among the guests accompanying Odinga, urged the residents to get vaccinated against Covid-19 to minimize possible cases of lockdown that occasioned recent spikes in infection numbers.
BY George Agimba