By JOSEPH OJWANG.
The government will soon release taskforce reports on sugar and maize after they were presented to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa says the two taskforces were commissioned by the President to look into what ails the two sectors.
Wamalwa who spoke in Kisumu on Friday when he attended a consultative meeting convened by the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) and the National Assembly Committee on Agriculture says the two reports are now ready and only waits for the official launch.
A member of the Agriculture Committee, Wafula Wamunyinyi has in the meantime introduced in parliament a private member’s Sugar Bill 2019 to salvage the sector from collapse.
Wamalwa says the Bill is timely and will ensure views of farmers are captured to strengthen the governance of the sector.
He says the Bill must borrow heavily from the Sugar taskforce report to make it concrete.
Wamalwa says Agriculture Cabinet Secretary has in the meantime shelved the gazettement of sugar regulations pending the taskforce report outcome.
LREB chairman Wyclife Oparanya, who is the Kakamega Governor, urged the Agriculture Committee to ensure the Bill recognizes farmers.
Oparanya says farmers have been neglected in the past yet they are the custodians of the raw material.
He says that the previous sugar Act leaned towards the government, workers and suppliers while sidelining farmers who toil in farms to develop cane.
Oparanya says this led to huge arrears owed to farmers while the rest in the chain were paid.
He called for the reinstatement of the repealed Sugar Act of 2001 to restore order in the sugar sector.