Farmers are set to wait longer for changes in the sugar industry after the reforms process ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta failed to take off day.

A task force headed by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has suspended its public engagements indefinitely after a section of farmers threatened to launch a parallel process over pay delay. The public sessions were meant to last four days.

Late last year, President Kenyatta ordered the agriculture ministry to relook cane and sugar pricing mechanisms, review importation and taxation structures, and get consensus on the fate of State-owned millers.

Mr Oparanya’s team, appointed in October by agriculture ministry to spearhead reforms, said it suspended the public participation forums “until the State releases the Sh2.7 billion owed to farmers.”

“We have agreed that despite the numerous problems that are bedeviling the sugar sector, farmers have to be paid their outstanding amount before we engage them for their respective input into the programme,” said Mr Oparanya who also heads the Council of Governors.

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