The struggling sugar miller Sony Sugar Company announced it has lost KSh2.3 billion advanced to farmers due to cane poaching.
The money which was advanced to farmers in the forms of loans was to be recovered from their deliveries to the miller. However, according to Managing Director James Oluoch, the recovery process has become untenable, with a majority of its contracted farmers choosing to deliver their cane elsewhere.
Cane poaching has been rampant in recent years and has largely contributed to the collapse of many sugar milles in the region, particularly those owned by the Kenyan government.
Sony Sugar has now moved to Sugar Directorate in a bid to recover the money.
“We have also reported the matter to the office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Agriculture. They are, however, yet to take action,’’ Mr Oluoch said.
He said the firm had invested heavily in the cane development initiative to ensure adequate and sustained supply of the raw material.
In a quick rejoinder, the Kenya National Federation of Sugarcane Farmers Migori Branch Secretary Argwings Adongo said farmers had opted to sell their cane to rival millers due to delayed payments.
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