Migori — The Awendo-based South Nyanza Sugar Company plant is currently operating below its capacity due to lack of enough sugarcane.
Company board chairman Jared Kopiyo on Sunday decried 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 sugar.
Speaking at the plant when he led the board in assessing what is ailing the factory to the detriment of operating below its level, the chairman and 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 every day.
“It is worrying that the management is now forced to switch off the machines for up to three days waiting for farmers to deliver their produce to the plant before starting to crash again,” said Kopiyo.
He argued that the trend of first collecting enough cane at the cane yard before reverting back to crashing was a waste of time and caused a lot of delays in sugar production.
This, he noted, was preventing the factory from building a strong capital base to allow the company to meet its debt and wage-bill obligations.
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.
Kopiyo disclosed that the plant was currently in its best status and it was only the lack of cane that was preventing it from operating fully.
Company managing director (MD) Stephen Ligawa said the company is currently focused seriously on the cane development programme to ensure that in the next few months, the factory would receive enough cane from both its nucleus and contracted farmers.
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, supplies and other service providers are reduced drastically by the end of the year,” he concluded. – Kna