KENYA— Western Kenyan leaders have announced that Mumias Sugar Company is set to resume full operations by December 1.

This update was shared during a press conference at the Nairobi Hotel, which was attended by Western Kenya politicians after consulting with President Ruto.

The leaders, spearheaded by Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa, engaged in discussions with President Ruto to strategize ways to rejuvenate the sugar industry.

Noteworthy attendees at this meeting included Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, as well as MPs Nabii Nabwera, Innocent Mugabe, Johnson Naicca, Benard Shinali, Titus Khamala, Emmanuel Wangwe, Christopher Aseka, Malulu Injendi, Tindi Mwale, and Fred Ikana, alongside Governor Fernandes Barasa.

Their concerted efforts culminated in a long-term solution; a decision reached during a development agenda meeting with President William Ruto at State House in Nairobi.

 This strategic move follows the suspension of milling services by the Agricultural Food Authority and the National Government from July 13, 2023, until November 30, 2023, allowing the cane to mature.

Mumias Sugar’s tribulations trace back to the 2012/2013 fiscal year, marked by net losses leading to its eventual closure in 2018 with accumulated losses of Sh39.44 billion.

As of June 2018, the company’s indebtedness, comprising principal loans and interest from government sources, amounted to Sh12.59 billion.

Governor Baraza highlighted that the discussions yielded a mutually agreed-upon long-term solution, ensuring sustainable operations for Mumias Sugar Company and the continued livelihoods of farmers.

Stressing the urgency, he emphasized the need for the factory to recommence operations on December 1, enabling timely payments to sugarcane farmers.

Senator Khalwale acknowledged that Kabras Sugar and Butali Sugar have publicized new rates, and expressed hope that Mumias Sugar would learn from their counterparts and formulate competitive pricing upon its return.

He shared his satisfaction with the Cabinet’s approval of Ksh.117 billion in obligations owed by five industries, excluding Mumias Sugar.

Khalwale expressed optimism, anticipating that with Mumias back in operation, farmers would have more avenues, including selling their sugarcane to Mumias Sugar, West Kenya, and Nzoia, among others.

Following the deliberations, the people of Kakamega County are poised to benefit significantly as President William Ruto appointed a team to investigate the Sh33 billion debt owed by Mumias Sugar Company and oversee the resumption of milling operations.