Sugarcane farmers in Mautuma Ward in Lugari Sub-County, Kakamega County, are counting losses following the overstaying of their produce on their farms.
Speaking to the Western Kenya Times, a farmer who sought anonymity narrated how difficult it is for them to secure a permit for harvesting their sugarcane.
“Corruption is the order of the day at a sugarcane company’s offices. Before you are given a permit, you must pay a bribe. If you pay through someone, you have to part ways with KSh 2,000 or if you pay directly in the office, you’ll have to give KSh 5,000,” the farmer said.
The farmer further revealed that one is forced to pay KShs 1,500 per tractor beside the KShs 1,500 spent on loaders. This leaves the farmer drained and gets little or no profit from their produce.
He said his sugarcane has overstayed on the farm for 24 months, well past the required time of 18 months. Sugarcane loses value in terms of tonnes when it overgrows.
“Look at my sugarcane. It is drying up and falling down. This is pathetic!” He lamented.
The farmer added that he was relying on the produce to buy fertilizer and pay his children’s fees.
“I humbly request the company to come and harvest the sugarcane. I need the money to pay fees, among other expenses,” he said.
Tom Lutali is a seasoned scribe based in Lugari Sub-County in Kakamega County who writes human interest stories and sports for WKT.