Mumias Outgrowers directors asked to surrender Sh2bn assets

Cane farmers have asked former directors of Mumias Outgrowers Company (Moco) to surrender assets worth Sh2 billion.

The property includes a fleet of tractors, cars and motorcycles which cannot be accounted for eight years after the company collapsed.

Others are a 100-acre piece of land, buildings which served as field offices, a dairy cow demo farm and several projects.

Kenya National Federation of Sugarcane Farmers deputy secretary-general Simon Wesechere said directors and other officials should explain the whereabouts of the assets.

Mr Wesechere said the federation was keen on recovering the assets and reviving the collapsed welfare organisation in line with new regulations in the sugar sub-sector.  

“Our main focus as a federation is to ensure the assets are recovered and handed over to 80,000 sugarcane farmers who formed the company,” he said.

According to him, dairy projects which were being funded by the Netherlands government jointly with the now defunct Kenya Sugar Board had collapsed and funds cannot be accounted for.

He said that outgrower firms should be revamped to ensure that players in the industry carry out their responsibilities effectively.

He said that milling firms should concentrate on their core business of buying and crushing cane while outgrower firms take care of production and related activities including purchases and supply of farm inputs to farmers and transportation.

Mr Wesechere appealed to the government to write off outgrower companies’ debts — which run into billions of shillings — including over Sh300 million that Moco had received through the Sugar Development Fund (SDF).

A meeting that was expected to take place on Friday in Mumias town to discuss the assets issue was postponed to give stakeholders an opportunity to attend and give their views.