Farmers Say No To Privatization

In the privatization strategy approved by parliament, farmers will get 24% stake of the sugar companies. 51% stake will go to the strategic investor expected to have about 10 years’ experience in the sugar industry business as the government retains the remaining 25%

By Florence Mutinda

Sugar cane farmers rejected the idea of privatization of sugar industries citing lack of sensitization and lack of preparedness to purchase the shares allocated to them.

Farmers led by sugar industry union leaders spoke openly during a consultative meeting organized by the privatization commission held at Nzoia Sugar Company on 17th September, 2015.

One of the demands the farmers would like met by the commission is the increase of allocated shares from the proposed 24% to 51%. Farmers would also like the period of privatization to take 5 years to give them time to prepare for the same.

Following approval to sell the government’s stake in sugar factories by parliament, the privatization commission published an approved strategy to kick off the privatization process.

Part of the process is the consultative meetings and sensitizations which are meant to occur before the final process which is expected to take a period of 9 months.

The consultative meeting follows other similar meetings organized for the managing directors and politicians of local sugar industries in different locations.

Those in attendance were workers and farmers’ union leaders, sugar cane farmers, opinions leaders, administrators, employees of Nzoia Sugar Company, Management and Board of Nzoia Sugar Company and members of the community.