Kenya’s Mumias Sugar Company is set to resume operations in August, despite financial constraints and lack of raw materials.
Nashon Aseka, the new Managing Director said the management will do its best to breathe life into the company, following three months of being under care and maintenance.
“If I participate in the revival of the Mumias Company, I will die a happy man even if I will not have been paid my entire salary,” Aseka said.
He said the miller requires a lot of goodwill for its revival to succeed.
Aseka attributed the delay in starting full capacity milling to lack of sugarcane since many farmers have taken up alternative farming after the firm was unable to repay them.
More than 500 contracted farmers who delivered their cane to Mumias have not been paid since mid-2015.
Aseka said the farmers will start being paid as soon as the Sh500 million bailout promised by the government is delivered.
The company had estimated it needed Sh5.2 billion to resume operations fully, but Aseka said the figure needs to be revised upwards.
Mumias has carried out sensitisation drives for farmers in a bid to encourage them to take up sugarcane cultivation.
Aseka said many farmers who had taken up other crops are willing to do sugarcane farming on contract.
“They will do so as long as they are assured of payment,” he said.
Aseka said the firm is considering operating periodically – with on and off milling – because of the shortage of cane.
The company expects to run at more than half of the capacity on resumption of close to 4,000 tonnes of cane milled per day, compared to full operation of 8,000 tonnes per day.