The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: New Cane Company Set for the Coast

A new sugar company in Kwale has urged the residents to plant cane. Kwale International Sugar Company Ltd, which plans to start producing sugar in October next year, wants cane farmers from Ukunda and Lungalunga to register with it . Speaking at the firm yesterday, KISCOL agriculture manager Patrick Chebos, urged all the farmers interested in growing sugarcane to register with the firm .

"We are calling on all farmers from Diani to Lungalunga to come and register so that we plan on how they are going to feed the company with sugarcane for sugar production once we start operation next year," Chebos said. He said plans to build the factory in Ramisi are at an advanced stage as the first batch of the facilities are expected next month from India.

"We are expecting about 900 containers with the parts of the mills which will come in batches with the first batch with about 60 containers expected next month. So things are at an advanced stage and farmers need to swing to action," he said. He said the company will advise farmers on how to grow sugarcane alongside maize and other food crops.

"We were set to give farmers sugarcane to grow this season but we suspended that till April next year because the long rains expected then are more reliable than theses short rains." he said. Chebos who said the firm will neither force farmers nor take away land from them in the program said the move will boost the fortunes of the residents as it will enable them get cash from their harvest as they also grow food crops in their farms. The announcement has been received with excitement in Coast whose sole sugar factory at Ramisi collapsed in the 1980s owing to mismanagement resulting to loss of jobs by thousands of the local residents.

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