Monthly price caps sweeten deal for sugar cane growers

Sugar cane farmers have started benefiting from a new price regime that has placed a minimum amount that growers should be paid as millers move to implement the directive set by the regulator.

The millers including Mumias and West Kenya Sugar have increased cane prices in compliance with the new requirement that has put the price of cane per tonne at Sh3,452 in July.

Mumias Sugar has increased its prices from Sh3,300 to Sh3,800 per tonne and West Kenya from Sh3,200 to Sh3,400.

The Sugar Cane Pricing Committee (SCPC) formed two months ago will be recommending a minimum price per tonne of cane monthly.

The cane price is pegged on the sugar prices and other variables as indicated in the formula. If the sugar price stabilises, the cane price will remain the same.

If sugar prices change in the course of the month, then the recommended price will be calculated based on the new sugar price.

Mumias Company director of communication Moses Owino asked farmers to take advantage of the new pricing system to maximise on cane proceeds.

“We have increased our prices basing on the improved prices of sugar in the market,” said Mr Owino.

Mumias has been facing stiff competition for the raw material following cane shortage that has been attributed to poaching by rivals. The management claims it has so far lost 750,000 tonnes of cane.

West Kenya head of agriculture Paramasiram Prabakaran, says increase in producer prices will attract more farmers to supply their factory.
Mr Prabakaran said low payments had contributed to farmers abandoning the crop.