Olepito Sugar factory has unveiled 5O tractors as part of its on-going plan to ensure that each farmer is taken care of.
The Company wants to ensure farmers cane is harvested at the right age and taken to the factory in the shortest time possible.
Busia Deputy Governor, Moses Mulomi who presided over the unveiling ceremony thanked the company for the fleet of tractors.
He said with the modern fleet of tractors, cane should be collected a day after harvesting to avoid farmers incurring huge loses if it stays for over three days after harvesting.
The DG also thanked Olepito Sugar for paying farmers within seven days after harvesting and for having the lowest cost of service from land preparation to transport services which are paid as per distance.
“This is a major investment for county residents with a crushing capacity of 600 metric tons per day and with plans to expand the factory to 2000 tons per day,” he said.
Mulomi said importation of cane into the country was stopped.
This followed concerns raised by Rai Group Managing Director, Tejveee Rai that the company faced the challenge of sugar cane glut in Uganda.
This had allowed brokers to take advantage of the desperate Ugandan farmer and smuggle sugar cane and surplus cheap imported sugar through the porous borders.
The MD noted that the droughts of 2017/2018 led to severe shortage of cane and low yields.
The contracted farmers ensured the mills continued crushing in 2019 and 2020, adding that the heavy rains for the last two years made it difficult to pull out the cane from waterlogged fields and onto the roads.
Farmers resisted any attempts by the Council of Governors to change the sugar regulations to introduce zoning saying they will resist any attempts to alter the laws.
Farmers also urged the company to deduct money from their earnings to enlist them into the National Hospital Insurance Fund.
Rai Group Chairman, Jaswant Rai assured the locals that they will secure 70 per cent of jobs meant for them.
He added that it has been a long journey for the company to reach the current level, noting that this was attributed to partnership with farmers, county and national governments and other stakeholders.
National Bank of Kenya chairman, John Nyerere said the bank which is now a subsidiary of the KCB Group funded the purchase of John Deere tractors to the tune of Sh180million.
Olepito Sugar General Manager, Gerald Okoth said the company recently advertised 30 job opportunities, adding that they managed to fill eight slots with 22 still up for grabs.
Teso South Deputy County Commissioner, Willy Cheboi said security officers acting on a tip off impounded a vehicle and occupants arrested with 12, 50- kilograms bags of sugar smuggled from Uganda through the porous border.