Category Archives: Farming

Kenya: Alex Mwaura Muriu of Kenya won Second Prize of Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2015

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

This year’s winners embody the Pan African essence of the prestigious Innovation Prize for Africa award, representing North, East & Southern Africa

SKHIRAT, Morocco, May 14, 2015/ — In a glittering ceremony hosted by the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) ( in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy in Skhirat, Morocco, researcher Adnane Remmal was announced winner of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2015 Grand Prize (, scooping the US$100 000 cash prize. This was a fitting tribute to an extensive research process, providing African farmers with a solution to improve livestock production whilst taking into account consumer health needs.


Photo: (Adnane Remmal (right) IPA 2015 winner, with the Ministry of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy officials and AIF Founder, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais (centre)

Alex Mwaura Muriu of Kenya won Second Prize, and South African, Lesley Erica Scott was awarded the Special Prize for Social Impact, receiving US$25 000 respectively.

A jubilant Remmal impressed the expert panel of judges, competing with 10 excellent African innovations spanning the health, environment, technology and agricultural sectors. His innovation, a patented alternative to livestock anti-biotics is set to transform the broader medical and agricultural sector in Africa. The natural innovative anti-microbial formula reduces health hazards in livestock, preventing the transmission of multi-resistant germs and carcinogens to human beings through consumption of milk, eggs and meat. Says Remmal: “My innovation provides farmers with solutions to improve their production; it is cost effective and can be easily adopted, giving farmers increased benefits without the side effects of anti-biotics.”

Murui, a Kenyan entrepreneur, developed a system to meet the perennial challenge faced by African farmers in accessing capital to finance planting and harvesting by providing an alternative from the burden of financial loans through his Farm Capital Africa project.

Today, TB is second only to HIV and AIDS as a leading cause of death in the continent. Using the Smartspot TBCheck, Scott, a South African scientist, has developed an effective World Health Organization (WHO) approved calibration method for TB diagnostic machines.

Innovation is a national priority in Morocco, one of the countries leading the innovation frontier in Africa – a strategic location for IPA 2015, and well known for hosting other successful events such as the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. In his welcome remarks, Moroccan Minister of Trade, Industry, Investment and the Digital Economy, Mr Moulay Hafid Elalamy emphasized: “Innovation and development, as well as technological innovations must be leveraged for the continent, given that these are major value creations and key ingredients for competitiveness”.

Since its inaugural launch in 2011, IPA has attracted some 3000 applications from 49 African countries. Jean Claude Bastos de Morais, AIF Founder and the brainchild of the Prize, now in its fourth edition, is pleased with the level of innovations this year – a total of 925 applications from 41 countries. Commenting on the role of IPA in fostering innovation in Africa, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais said:

“I am truly impressed with this year’s winning innovations, which have once again surpassed expectations. At the same time, I am aware that the buck cannot stop here. Let us put it this way; no matter how high a bird flies, it always needs a nest, a base to come back to. African innovators are taking flight, their innovative ideas are increasingly proving to be transformative – not only for Africa – but for the world. Through the IPA, the AIF is fostering the development of robust innovation ecosystems, which are essentially nests for African entrepreneurs and innovators to develop solutions for African challenges”.

African innovators continue to provide more innovative African solutions to address African problems. This year’s winners have a common theme: their innovations highlight the vital and crucial need to respond directly to demanding community needs – the heart of the AIF mandate. The innovations further demonstrate great potential to change the course of history in Africans’ responses to health, technology, enterprise and the agricultural sector, prioritizing needs-based responses through cost effective means – a critical tool for sustainable development.

The IPA 2015 Awards ceremony was attended by more than 400 people that included high level African dignitaries, ministers, ambassadors, AIF partners, past IPA winners, venture capitalists, innovators, entrepreneurs, local and international media, and young people. The AIF believes that young people (below age 35) are the epi-center of the African innovation ecosystem as they represent 65% of Africa’s 1.1 billion population.

For the first time this year, all nominees received recognition through a US$5 000 voucher as a support fund to boost their different innovations in their home countries.

The IPA 2015 Awards ceremony was compered by Lerato Mbele of BBC Africa Business Report fame. Youssour N’Dour, the Senegalese musical legend provided first class entertainment, backed by Bob Maghrib, a Moroccan ensemble, with popular Bob Marley renditions.

IPA associated events prior to the Awards ceremony included a Press Conference, an Innovation Marketplace showcasing Moroccan home-grown talents, and an Ideas Machine workshop focusing on unleashing innovation talent in young Africans.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF).

For more information on IPA 2015:

For the African Innovation Foundation
Aulora Stally
Communications Manager
Strehlgasse 4
8001 Zurich, Switzerland
Phone: +41 79 834 9163

For the Ministry of Industry
Trade, Investment and Digital Economy
Taoufiq Moucharraf
Communications Director
Phone: +212 661 522 801

Find us on:
The Internet: ; Innovation Prize for Africa (
Twitter: @AfrinnovFdn; @IPAPrize

Africa Innovation Foundation (AIF) ( works to increase the prosperity of Africans by catalyzing the innovation spirit in Africa.

Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) ( is a landmark initiative of the AIF and mobilizes African innovators to invest in African-led solutions to ensure a sustainable, prosperous Africa. Details on IPA 2015 events can be found on

African Innovation Foundation (AIF)

USA: Keeping Ohio Workers and Children Out of Poverty

From: Senator Sherrod

Ohioans û many of whom work multiple jobs while taking care of their children û deserve tax relief. And workers who lose their jobs or their pensions due to no fault of their own deserve help with health bills.

 While this makes sense to most Ohioans, too many Members of Congress may disagree. While some legislators donÆt hesitate to give tax breaks to large corporations, they stop short of also providing workers with fair tax credits that will keep them out of poverty.

As Congress works to finalize a tax deal, if businesses receive tax relief, the same has to go for Ohio workers and their families. Tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) û which provide tax relief for low-income workers û are critical lifelines for many taxpayers and lift millions out of poverty every year.

Sen. Brown speaking about the importance of EITC in Cleveland.

Just as corporations need certainty so they can make investments, working Americans deserve certainty so they can make ends meet. 

Temporary improvements to the EITC and CTC will expire in just a few years if Congress does not act. According to an analysis by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, if these provisions are allowed to expire in 2017, 13 million families would lose part or all of their EITC and CTC. This would result in 14.6 million Americans being pushed deeper into poverty and 1.8 million Americans being pushed into poverty. In Ohio alone, allowing the improvements to expire would reduce the EITC and CTC of nearly half a million families.

We should not only make permanent the enhancements made to the EITC and the CTC, we should look at ways to expand and improve both credits.

Sen. Brown speaking about the importance of EITC in Cleveland.

ThatÆs why I introduced legislation that would triple the size of the EITC for the only class of workers who can be taxed into poverty: low-income adults without children. This would reduce poverty and spread the benefits of the program to a wider pool. Ohioans want to work and support themselves and we must continue to fight for tax policy that does not put an undue burden on low-wage earners.

 In 2012, more than 1.5 million Ohioans received more than $3.2 billion in tax relief through the EITC and the CTC. ThatÆs money that gets fed right back into the economy. Families use their refunds to pay for necessities û like groceries, school supplies, and visits to the dentist û that they otherwise might not be able to afford.

We cannot afford to neglect working families when it comes to tax relief. Congress must ensure that, like corporations, workers who need help the most can rely on fair tax credits for years to come. 


Sherrod Brown U.S. Senator

Cleveland 1301 East Ninth Street Suite 1710 Cleveland, Ohio 44114 p (216) 522-7272 f (216) 522-2239 Toll Free 1-888-896-OHIO (6446)

Washington, D.C.

713 Hart Senate Building

vil Men, Evil Agendas!

From: ‘frank patrick materu’

GEOENGINEERING (Global Weather Modification) is threatening all life on earth.

Geoengineers deny having deployed aerosol programs for years, yet they are currently proposing to spray 10-20 million tons of aluminum oxide other toxic chemicals into our sky annually as stated in numerous geoengineering documents. Lab tests have disclosed extremely high levels of these metals in ground, water, rain and atmospheric tests worldwide. Blood and urine tests reveal alarming levels of aluminum, barium, strontium, cadmium, and other chemicals known to cause high blood pressure, cancer, asthma, Alzheimers, heart, kidney and liver damage, osteoporosis, chronic inflammation, headaches, skin disorders, severe lung, spleen and intestinal diseases, immune system decline, blurred vision, intense ringing in ears, muscle weakness, hear loss, etc. NO purpose justifies these consequences.

Chemtrials are we the experiment? What do you think about this?

Frank Materu

Geoengineering Affects You and Your Loved Ones


Geoengineering Affects You and Your Loved Ones
documenting the chemtrail-geoengineering coverup
View on www.geoengineerin…
Preview by Yahoo

Africa’s Food Security: Bags2Bulk Project Will Enhance Zambia’s Food Security Through Improved Grain Storage and Reduced Post-Harvest Losses

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

With 80% of Zambia’s maize produced by smallholder farmers, there is significant demand for improved grain storage facilities

LUSAKA, Zambia, August 7, 2014/ — AGCO (Your Agriculture Company, NYSE:AGCO) (, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, has launched a partnership with Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation (a US Agency for International Development-funded program) to reduce post-maize harvest losses and improve grain handling in Zambia.


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The new Bags2Bulk project will see AGCO and it partners, GSI Africa, Musika and Ybema Grain Services, introduce and sell 40 metal storage silos at grain trader level benefitting 12,000 smallholder farmers. In the first of several product demonstrations scheduled for Zambia’s Central and Eastern Provinces, more than 75 grain traders recently attended a roadshow in Mkushi to view the silos in action.

“With 80% of Zambia’s maize produced by smallholder farmers, there is significant demand for improved grain storage facilities,” says Nuradin Osman, AGCO Director Operations Africa and Middle East. “These producers primarily use recycled bags for storage, and it is estimated that 30% of grain is lost post-harvest as a result of rot, rodent and insect damage. The bulk silos, manufactured under AGCO’s GSI brand, will enable smallholder farms and traders to safely store larger quantities of maize in order to maintain grain quality. Added to this is the potential for them to make sales at a later date when prices may be more advantageous.”

Bags2Bulk is the first partnership between AGCO and Feed the Future, the US Government’s global hunger and food security initiative led by USAID. Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation, a program under this initiative, funds off-the-shelf technologies to increase smallholder productivity and competitiveness.

Along with the supply of 2.5-500 tonne capacity silos, the scope of Bags2Bulk includes provision of product training and demonstrations, marketing and the facilitation of finance.

AGCO’s consortium of operational partners for Bags2Bulk includes GSI Africa, distributor for GSI grain storage and handling technology in Zambia; Musika, a Not For Profit Company which works to stimulate private sector investment in the smallholder market, and Ybema Grain Services, an accredited grain trader.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of AGCO Corporation.

Press contact:
Louisa Parker
Manager Institutional Funding & Stakeholder
Relations, Africa & Middle East
Tel: +44 02476852001

About AGCO
AGCO (NYSE: AGCO) ( is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural machinery. AGCO supports more productive farming through a full line of tractors, combines, hay tools, sprayers, forage equipment, grain storage and protein production systems, tillage implements and replacement parts. AGCO products are sold through five core machinery brands, Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson® and Valtra® and are distributed globally through approximately 3,100 independent dealers and distributors in more than 140 countries worldwide. Founded in 1990, AGCO is headquartered in Duluth, GA, USA. In 2013, AGCO had net sales of $10.8 billion.

AGCO Corporation


Writes Leo Odera Omolo in Homa-Bay own.

Poverty index in Rangwe constituency in general and Homa-BAY County in particular is the highest, and means and ways must be found of stamping out the abject of poverty in the area. And the only sensible and quickest way of enhancing the purchasing power of the locals is for the elected leaders in the region to support the proposed white sugar mill slated to be established in Rangwe as soon as the government give its okay for the project to start.

These views were expressed by the Rangwe MP George Oner at the weekend. Speaking during an exclusive interview with this writer in Kisumu city. He expressed the home that his fellow legislators fro the region, MCAS professionals, businessmen, traders and rural folks will join him in supporting the noble project which is said at lifting the standard of living of the residents of the regions involved.

The MP said the project has received wider support and unanimous blessing and backing from the County governments of Homa-Bay, Migori and Kisii. On completion and during its operational, the proposed new white sugar processing mills to be located at Aoch Muga in Gem West Location, Homa-Bay district will receive the bulk its raw cane material from Homa-Bay at the rate of 9 per cent, and 10 per cent from Migori, and Ndhiwa as well as the same percentage from the southern part of kisii and Kasipul constituency.

The youthful MP said the new mill will enhanced the income of the rural farming population in the region because there will be better schools, better and modernized health facilities such as private, hospitals. Rural farmer will have an easy access to market for their farm products next door as the purchasing power of the locals would be enhanced considerably.

The MP thanked the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Felix Kosgei who made an extensive toured the region on July 6th and personally listened to the pleas of the farmers and their cries for the project. The MP said he was too optimistic that president Uhuru Kenyatta’s government would soon sanctioned the licensing of the project so that the construction of the mill to start the earliest, and that the CS Kosgei would soon return to Homa-Bay County to officially officiate I the groundbreaking ceremony so that the construction work on the new mill could start immediately.

The MP also thanked the CEO of the Kenya sugar board Rosemary Mkok who accompanied the Agriculture CS Kosgei during his tour and the representative of the HOMA-bayanbd MIGORI county governments. H was also thankful to governors Cyprian Awiti of Homa-Bay and Zachary Okoth Obado of Migori county for the blessing of the new sugar project. He said the feasibility studies of the projects were completed several years ago. The developers had strictly observed the rules and regulations lay down by the KSB which stipulates that those intending to establish new sugar factory must ensure that the new facility is located in a location which is 40 kilometers apart from the existing factory in distance. In the case of the Rangwe project, it will be located about 46 kilometers from Sukari Industries in Ndhiwa and 41 kilometers from the Awendo based SONYSUGAR factory.

The MP, however, strongly abhorred the alleged secret maneuvers by an unnamed senior politician from the region who is reported to have raised an objection against the licensing of the new sugar mill under the pretext of flimsy and lame excuses, adding that such a leader should be classified and isolated as someone who is anti-development character.

Unemployment in our region is the highest and anyone who has the capacity of putting up a project of this magnitude should be highly appreciated and give the necessary assistance.

Meanwhile the former vice chairman f the defunct County council of the greater Southern Nyanza EX-Coun, Elisha Adeny Rachilo has threatened that he would mobilize about 100 elders from the region to travel to Nairobi and visit State house to petition President Uhuru Kenyatta and ask him to intervene on the matter with the view to ensure that the Homa-Bay sugar mill is licensed as soon as possible should there be any further delay in granting of the same.

Speaking on a different forum Ex Coun Adeny Rachilo said that the rate of unemployment among the youth in the region has reached an alarming proportion and because President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto are known to be totally committed to economically empowering the youth of this country his team would request the President to visit the region and see for himself what his people on the ground are saying about this most important economic project, the only one of its kind I the vast region.

Meanwhile this writer made an extensive visit to Hom-Bay and Migori Counties over the weekend and conducted interviews with the stakeholders, politicians and opinion leaders who appeared to be unanimous in support of the Rngwe sugar mill project.

The writer visited Rongo, Awendo and Migori towns and wound up in Oyugis. The surety revealed that there would be close to 30,000 hectors of land readily available to be used as sugar cane growing zones, in areas covering Kodera and kotieno in Ksipul. Kagan nd Gongo Locations, Gem Central east and South locations ,Kamagambo West, north,Kitutu Chache South and North Bonchari and south Mugirango regiona. All these areas are potential for sugar cane growing and could produce as many as 60,000 hectare of sugar cane growing potential area which will br sufficient to sustain a larger sugar mill.


Africa Progress Report: Kofi Annan and other Panel Members to launch 2014 Africa Progress Report – Grain, Fish, Money

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)
From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

Kofi Annan and other Panel Members to launch 2014 Africa Progress Report – Grain, Fish, Money

The Africa Progress Panel will release its annual Africa Progress Report at the World Economic Forum on Africa held in Abuja, Nigeria

ABUJA, Nigeria, April 29, 2014/ — On Thursday, May 8th 2014, the Africa Progress Panel ( will release its annual Africa Progress Report – Grain, Fish, Money – Financing Africa’s Green and Blue revolutions, at the World Economic Forum on Africa held in Abuja, Nigeria.


Chaired by former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, last year’s report Equity in Extractives – Stewarding Africa’s Natural Resources for all, made headlines with its analysis of the oil, gas, and minerals industries in Africa.

This year’s report will argue that Africa can and must unleash green and blue revolutions in its agriculture and fisheries. It will highlight the opportunities for Africa of the world’s growing demand for food and the critical importance of agriculture and fisheries for two thirds of people in Africa engaged in these sectors. The report will also recommend related policies, including policies to scale-up Africa’s infrastructure and extend its financial services. The report will also outline the urgent need to stop the plunder of Africa’s timber and fisheries.

The following Panel Members and Members of the Secretariat will be attending WEF on Africa to outline findings shared in the report.

• Kofi Annan, Chair, Africa Progress Panel, and former UN Secretary-General

• Olusegun Obasanjo, Member, Africa Progress Panel, and former President of Nigeria

• Peter Eigen, Member, Africa Progress Panel, Founder of Transparency International, and Founding Chair and Special Representative of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

• Bob Geldof, Member, Africa Progress Panel, Musician, Businessman, Founder and Chair of Band Aid, Live Aid and live8, Co-Founder of DATA and ONE Advisor and Advocate

• Caroline Kende-Robb, Executive Director, Africa Progress Panel

• Max Bankole Jarrett, Deputy Executive Director, Africa Progress Panel

Note to editor:

• Caroline Kende-Robb and Max Bankole will both be available for telephonic interviews from Tuesday 29 April until Friday 2 May, in build-up to WEF on Africa and the content expected to be shared during the official introduction of the 2014 report. There is limited interview slots available and email confirmation is required.

• Additional interviews with the panel outline above will be made available during WEF and can be arranged beforehand, again there are limited slots with each panel member and media will accommodated on a first come first served basis.

• The embargoed insights release and 2014 APP report will be sent out on Wednesday 7 May 2014.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Africa Progress Panel (APP).

For further information, please contact:
Hill+Knowlton Strategies (d) +27 11 463 2198
Victoria Williams (m) +27 72 452 1772

Geraldine Trennery (m) +27 82 677 5201

About the Africa Progress Panel

Chaired by Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, the ten-member Africa Progress Panel ( advocates at the highest levels for equitable and sustainable development in Africa. The Panel releases its flagship publication, the Africa Progress Report, every year in May.

Africa Progress Panel (APP)


reports Leo Odera Omolo

THERE were circuses and near physical combat on Tuesday this week when a group of local land foreign investors toured the facility for the purpose of making assessment about its viability ahead of its privatization ,which is scheduled in two months time.

The investors were accompanied by the officials from NEMA, but they were confronted at the gate cf the facility by rowdy goons masquerading as local farmers and stakeholders who threatened to beat them up forcing the group to cut short and call off their mission.

It has since been established that a cartel of wealthy Kisumu based Indians with the vested interest in Miwani Sugar Mills had held a secret night meeting the with the goons previous night at undisclosed venue within Miwani and instructed the youth not to allow any other groups of potential investors to access the facility.

Mi9wani sugar Mills the oldest sugar factory in Kenya which was the first to be established in the country in 1927 by an Australian white settler farmer is currently closed. It went burst in 2001 and was placed under the joint official protective official receivership together with the Muhoroni Sugar MILLS by the government which is the sole shareholder.

The goons acting at the behest of their invisible hirer masters insisting that there should be no visit to the facility before it was advertised for privatization and were adamant not to allow any such visit. They also threatened to burn down the vehicles that conveyed the investors to the facility unless the owners made a quick about-turn.

Businessmen intending to make their bid for Miwani Sugar Mills are said to be very much scared after getting the information about the expected cut-throat competition involving the hiring of criminal thugs. \they have expressed the fear that unless the government moves much faster with speed and advertise when it plan to off-load its shares as all the five public owned sugar factories in Western Kenya the possibility of the exercise being sabotaged by the interested parties cannot be ruled out.

All the previous attempt to have Miwani sold to private entrepreneurs have always hit the snag. The attempts were followed with series of court cases filed on flimsy grounds deliberately to have the exercise time barred. When the cases were finally over and determined, some unnamed officials at the lands Ministry corruptly and deliberately withheld the facility’s land title deeds pre-empting the transactions.

The major source of all the commotions is the 10,000 hectares Miwani nucleus estate farm, which some wealthy cartel of RICH Indians tycoon based in Miwani and Kisumu have focused their attention and hell-bent grab through the hook or crook. These cartels of crooks have been putting all sorts of barriers on the path of Miwani Sugar Mll’s privatization, while its owner which is the government seemed to be toothless bull=dog on the issue.

The carcasses which erupted at the facility is the clear indication that something fishy is going on, which calls for the government action.


Africa’s Biggest Music Stars & Launch ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’ to Revolutionize Agriculture

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

Africa’s Biggest Music Stars & Launch ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’ to Revolutionize Agriculture

19 recording artists. 11 countries. 10 languages. ONE message to African Leaders: Do Agric, It Pays!

LAGOS, Nigeria, March 31, 2014/ — ( today launched one of the continent’s biggest musical collaborations ever, ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’, in support of a new campaign to boost investments in agriculture: ‘Do Agric, It Pays’ ( Nineteen of the top recording artists from across Africa, including D’Banj and Femi Kuti from Nigeria, DR Congo’s Fally Ipupa, Cote d’Ivoire’s Tiken Jah Fakoly, Kenya’s Juliani, and South Africa’s Judith Sephuma, have come together to help rebrand agriculture and tell African youth that their future lies literally beneath their feet—and in their hands.

Download the song:

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Logo ONE:

Logo Do Agric:

The participating artists are: A.Y. (Tanzania), Bufallo Souljah (Zimbabwe), Dama Do Bling (Mozambique), D’Banj (Nigeria), Diamond (Tanzania), Dontom (Nigeria), Fally Ipupa (DRC), Femi Kuti (Nigeria), Judith Sephuma (South Africa), Juliani (Kenya), Kunle Ayo (Nigeria), Vusi Nova (South Africa), Liz Ogumbo (Kenya), Nancy G (Swaziland), Omawumi (Nigeria), Rachid Taha (Algeria), Tiken Jah Fakoly (Cote d’Ivoire), Victoria Kimani (Kenya) and Wax Dey (Cameroon).

These artists are using their voices to inspire young people to join, and tell political leaders ahead of the African Union summit in June that the time has come to adopt better agricultural policies that will help tackle youth unemployment, provide better support to small holder farmers, boost productivity, increase value chains, and help lift millions of Africans out of extreme poverty.

The song is available for download for free at after signing the ‘Do Agric’ petition that tells African leaders to invest in our farmers, our food, and our futures.

Dr. Sipho S. Moyo, Africa Executive Director, said:

“These brilliant artists are role models who connect with African youths. Their voices, in support of African agriculture, are sending a powerful message to the young generation: it’s time for African leaders to scale up public investments in agriculture and ensure policy interventions are targeted to benefit smalholder farmers who provide 80% of the food we eat on the continent.

According to the UN-FAO, agricultural growth is 11 times more effective at reducing poverty than growth in other sectors like mining and utilities. Do Agric is a continent-wide push to appeal to African governments to commit to spending at least 10% of national budgets on effective agriculture investments—a commitment they originally made in Maputo in 2003—and to do so through transparent and accountable budgets. We are indeed proud and greatly privileged to be partnering with such an inspiring group of individuals to spread the message that not only can Africa feed itself, but it can help to feed the world.”

Nigerian music superstar D’banj said:

“As African musicians, agriculture is the single most important cause we could champion together and I am proud to say we are doing it with ONE voice. Here in Nigeria alone, while 70% of Nigerians depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, the federal agriculture budget has been trending downwards, and is now at just 1.47%. This is a serious concern, especially because Nigeria spends billions of Naira importing food every year.

Through this song, we are calling on youths to go online and join, to get more involved in agriculture, and to ask our governments to step up and improve agricultural investments, so that the youths can have a better chance of succeeding in it.”

These artists are joining to show the current generation of young people that not only can agriculture be cool, but it is also a great way to earn a living. But without strong political will and public support for agriculture, African youth will not be able to take advantage of the potential that agriculture presents. is partnering with the popular voices of African artists in calling on political leaders, private sector investors and the youth to “do agric”— because “it pays”.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of

For further information, or interview requests, please contact:

ONE Africa Media Manager, Nde Ndifonka: / +234 81 00 55 00 76

ONE France Media Manager, Annabel Hervieu:

About Do Agric:

The collaboration is part of Do Agric, It Pays, ( a campaign, launched on 29 January in Addis Ababa with civil society partners including the Pan African Farmers Association (PAFO), ActionAid International, Acord International, Oxfam AU, East and Southern African Farmers Forum, ROPPA, Southern African Confederation of Agriculture Unions, the Africa Union Commission, Becho Welisho and the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). ONE has alos partnered with several grassroots organizations across the continent including Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum (ANSAF) of Tanzania, East and Southern African Small Scale Farmers (ESAFF), National Association of Nigerian Traders

(NANTS), BudgIT, and YPAED.

In 2003, African governments committed to spend 10% of their national budgets on agriculture. To date only 8 countries have consistently kept that promise and as a result, agriculture productivity in Africa is stuck at 1961 levels. To change that, launched Do Agric, It Pays to pressure African governments to commit to spending at least 10% of national budgets on effective agriculture investments, through transparent and accountable budgets. At the heart of the Do Agric campaign is an effort to push political leaders to adopt better policies that will boost productivity, increase incomes and help lift millions of Africans out of extreme poverty.

For more information on Do Agric, It Pays, visit the website:


• ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’ was co-produced by Cobhams Asuquo and DeeVee of DB Records. Godfather Productions directed the music video that will launch April 3 on Trace, MTV, Channel O, Soundcity and Canal France International. The verses were written by each participating artist, and the hook was written by D’Banj, whose company, DKM Media partnered with ONE to undertake the project.

• There are 19 artists from 11 different countries in the song: Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique, DRC, Cote d’Ivoire, Algeria & Cameroon.

• The song and music video were recorded and shot over three days in Johannesburg, South Africa in support of’s ‘Do Agric, It Pays’ Campaign.

• Each participating artist wrote his or her own verse.

• There are 10 different languages in the song: English, Arabic (Algerian), Malinke, Lingala (DRC), French, Swahili, Shona (Zimbabwe), Pidgin (Nigeria), Portuguese, & Xhosa (South Africa).

• Agriculture in Africa is an economic game changer: agriculture is up to 11 times more effective at reducing poverty than other sectors such as mining.

• Cocoa na Chocolate marks one of the largest Pan-African music collaboration ever on the continent.

• The collaboration was co-produced by Cobhams Asuquo and DeeVee of DB Records. Godfather Productions directed the music video. The executive producers were Sipho Moyo, Jeff Davidoff, and Nde Ndifonka of

• The song, ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’, refers to the importance of agriculture both to Africa’s future and in the fight against extreme poverty. The example of cocoa is illustrative: while Africa produces tons of cocoa, which it exports it for processing at prices far insignificant relative to the price of the finished product—chocolate—Africa then has to import the chocolate at exorbitant prices. It is clear that Africa is missing a key economic opportunity in processing and marketing the final product. This must be the future of African agriculture: creating a prosperous value chain that will create more jobs and viable business opportunities, generate better incomes for farmers, and attain productive efficiency that will lead to reduced food prices.


3/31 – 4/4


Femi Kuti
Dama do Bling
Vusi Nova
Wax Dey


Judith Sephuma
Liz Ogumbo
Nancy G
Buffalo Souljah


Victoria Kumani




Fally Ipupa


Tiken Jah Fakoly

Rachid Taha


Kunle Ayo



“As African musicians, agriculture is the single most important cause we could champion together and I am proud to say we are doing it with ONE voice. Here in Nigeria alone, while 70% of Nigerians depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, the federal agriculture budget has been trending downwards, and is now at just 1.47%. This is a serious concern, especially because Nigeria spends billions of Naira importing food every year.

Through this song, we are calling on youths to go online and join, to get more involved in agriculture, and to ask our governments to step up and improve agricultural investments, so that the youths can have a better chance of succeeding in it.”

Femi Kuti

“I think this is the most important project I’ve done in my life because agriculture for me is the most important thing for human beings, so I’m very proud to be part of this and I hope it’s going to be successful. I think our lives, everything, our future depends on this, so I think we all need to put all our resources, all our energy into this to make it a success.”

Fally Ipupa

“It is a very important project. It is important for us to tell the African youth to grow hectares so we can have good and organic food. And so we can maybe one day export, pondu, saka saka and other African dishes the same way we export music.”

« C’est une projet très important. C’est important pour nous d’inciter la jeunesse africaine d’aller cultiver des hectares pour avoir de la bonne nourriture bio. Et comme ça, peut-être qu’un jour, on exportera le pondu, saka saka ou autre plat africain, de la même manière qu’on exporte la musique. »

Judith Sephuma

“Farming is really cool. In our country we have young talented people who are trying to get into the industry like mining. Meanwhile farming is such a great business to get into, it pays, literally. Our government has made the promise to support agriculture. Let’s make them keep the promises.”

“This project is about different artists, different genres of music, coming together, saying we stand together as one. “


“In Africa there are a lot of talented artists, we are here to collaborate together and the theme is agriculture. Agriculture pays, agriculture is cool, agriculture is everything. We want to motivate youth and others to invest in agriculture. If you listen to my verse I’m saying I wish I could have invested in agriculture since way back, but the time is good now, it’s better if I can Do Agric now. I’m telling them that agriculture is cool and I want to tell you too.”

“At the end of the day, let me put 100% concentration in this. Its better to help others, to motivate them, and at the end of the day, Africa is one, so we want to push this. I’m cool, I’m happy and when I fly back to my country I’m going to motivate guys to Do Agric.”

Tiken Jah Fakoly

“This campaign is very important for Africa and for the world. Normally we should not talk about elementary crisis in Africa because we are strong, have a lot of young people, so thank you ONE. In the lyrics I am talking to young people from Africa and I say we have to go to farm because we have land and its raining and we have all the things we need for food – we have the possibility to make Africa all about food.”

Kunle Ayo

“It’s all about forcing the hands of government to make sure they make do with their words in terms of agriculture. The project is Do Agric – It Pays, and for me there is no better cause to support than this one.”

Dama do Bling

“For me it was an honor, and very fortunately for me to show from Mozambique, my part of Africa, that we all struggle with the same problems, and this song, this video, all the 20 artists just make this one big great voice. I can say to my country, yes we are a part of this, we have to work and we have to make the politicians change their mind about agriculture.”

“My lyrics talk about how to use the land to develop a country. We know that with a little bit of seed, and water, we can make a developed country. We can teach our children how to use the land, create jobs, we have fertile land, we can create opportunities for all the people in the country. Being part of this project we want to show how as musicians we can stick together and show our voice to the world to say agriculture is important.”

Victoria Kimani

“I’m a huge fruit and vegetable person and I’m really big on natural foods. My brother is a farmer and outside of that I love the idea of investing in yourself. I think agriculture is the way forward to be honest with you, not only from a financial aspect, but from giving back and providing jobs. I think it’s an amazing cause.”

“Its crazy because everyone has their own swag, their own style and when you put all that together its crazy because it doesn’t sound purely Kenyan, purely Tanzanian, purely Angolan, its awesome.”

“This amazing campaign is all about investing in land and promoting farming. My little part is to collect together what everyone is saying their own individual dialect. It’s an amazing effort and it’s all about ONE, so one love.”


“Lets make Africa great, a beautiful place, put our hands together and support agriculture. I’m trying to let people understand that there is a need for us to improve the potential of our people by supporting Do Agric initiative that is also aimed at agriculture as a means of developing the African economy. I’m part of history to be part of these artists who are here – I feel elated and glad, its nice to be part of the project.”

Buffalo Souljah

“We are trying to convince the youths that farming is cool, so I try and bring something from my country and my originality too which is really nice.

I just went in there to put in the Zimbabwe flavour. I’m a reggae dancehall artist but when you are trying to pass a message and representing your nation, you need to have sounds of Zim – so a bit of dancehall with the GT home village type of song. “

Liz Ogumbo

“I really believe that if we spend more time reaping in our backyards, farming, and putting our resources together to allow the farming side to happen, then we are going to be saving a lot and build the economy.

As a fashion designer I want to wear my blue jeans and make sure that I can be able to get it from my garden – If I can grow that cotton in the village and then come to the city and use that same cotton to manufacture what I’m doing as a fashion designer then I am playing a big role within the economy and that’s what Do Agric is all about.”

Nancy G

“My lines in this song are about the future, growth and connecting seeds with life and understanding the relationship between them.”

About ( is a campaigning and advocacy organization of nearly 4 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Strictly nonpartisan, we raise public awareness and press political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programs. is not a grant-making organization and does not solicit funding from the public or receive government funding. We achieve change through advocacy. Our teams in Washington, D.C., London, Johannesburg, Brussels, Berlin, and Paris – and soon in Abuja – educate and lobby governments to shape policy solutions that save and improve millions of lives. To learn more, go to



Industrial feature By Leo Odera Omolo

It is indeed encouraging that the government of Kenya welcomes and encourage both foreign and local investors wiling to invest their money in the agro – based and manufacturing sectors, therefore the time is ripe for the government to set up certain conditions which must be met by the investors willing to invest their money in this country. The time is ripe for the government to set up certain conditions and terms conducive to employment regulations and rules before their investments kick off.

As for now, the multinational Tea companies operating in Kericho and Nandi Hills regions are the ones which have set up good examples by way of making sure that senior management positions are in the hands highly skilled and semi skilled in indigenous Kenya Africans.

The British multinational tea manufacturing companies, like the uniliver (formerly Brooke Band Tea) in Kericho, and the Finlays tea and Flowers in Kericho, and the Finlays tea and Flowers, also operating in Kericho and bomet counties have engaged the highly trained local personnel . The two terms even have promoted to high and middle management positions, some of them trained on-the-jobs.

The same could be said of Eastern Province tea company which own chains of tea plantations and processing factories in Nandi Hills, Kericho and Sotik Highland and Kibabet tea companies in Sotik region of Kericho county.

In most of the above multinational tea companies nearly all the top managers, engineers, doctors, Chief Accountants, Financial Directors positions, are held by indigenous Africans with the exception of the positions involving foreigners who are specilaized on highly technical work.

These British multinational tea Multinational companies had introduced a crush training program immediately after Kenya attained political independence in 1963. They embarked in phasing out foreign expatriate managers, technician artisans. The two expatriate who stayed on their jobs were compelled to train Africans to understudy the expatriate previously employed on lucrative and plum jobs and replaced Them with the local personnel.

What is happening in the tea industry is reflecting the true picture of job creation in a country like kenya where unemployment situation has reached as alarming proportion. It has at large become the source of rising crime waves. The government policy on job creation and employment regulation in Kenya not exceptional. This is something which is happening every where on the globe.

Certain conditions must be set up for the purpose of scrutinizing rogue investors who discriminate and enslave the locals in their establishment.

In this context, I am referring to the pathetic employment conditions in the sugar mills especially where he investors use local African workers like slaves, petty casuals without approximant letters and term and conditions of services etc.

I have in mind the five sugar companies owned by Indian investors.

To be specific and more clear ,the sugar companies owned by Indians include West Kenya and Butali sugar companies which are based in kakamega county ,while Sukari industries is located in Homa – Bay County , Kibos sugar and Allied industries based in Kisumu county and the latest is the Trans – mara sugar company based in Narok County Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries is situated in Kisumu County with the latest and the newest sugar mill being the Trans-Mara sugar Company in NAROK county

In all the five sugar mills the investors have embarked in engaging foreign expatriate workers with impunity. The Investors in the sugar mills have engaged the largest number of expatriates workers to the chagrins of locals. These expatriate workers, most of them imported from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, are semi-illiterate. Expatriate workers from India. Pakistan and Bangladesh are the ones who are running petty jobs such as time-keeper, junior clerks, cane yard clerks and top jobs from the top and down to messenger and … even cooks for making Indian dishes for the top Indian top managers

The whole set up looked like the modern day apartheid racial segregation in an independent Kenya .some of the positions held by the expartriates involved simple clerical jobs which the forum four school learners cam even perform better than semi-literate expatriates.

African workers are kept in the periphery. While working only as subordinate and manual workers, but with no letter of appointment. In the case of those local comparison to what their expatriate counterparts earns, some of the mills produced negligible tons of sugar per day but have employed close to 200 expatriates compare with the Mumias ugar company which turns the highest amounts of sugar per day, is the highest in the country, at 96000 tons per day . But the mill is managed exclusively and efficiently by the local African Manager from the top to the down trodden office messengers and sweepers

Since the terms of its former contracted management of Booker Agricultural international expired two decades ago and the expatriate left the have turned the company around from the the profit losses to a vibrant facility that is a profit making it rather shameful for Kenya, a country which has been independent for 50 years and has trained and truned out thousands of highly skilled personnel, to make the dumping for illiterate and oldest Indian workers who cannot be employed even in their own country .These undesirable Indian expatriate workers have flooded our sugar sub sector of the economy.

The majority of Indian expatriate workers were told they cannot be subjected to the mandatory safety deduction such as NSSF al NHIF as are allowed to export their package back home to their families .Why should the key a government allow the kind of modern day slavery where in citizens are being subjected to discrimination on few opportunities that are available.




Reports leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu CITY

Members of the Luo Council of Elders held an urgent meeting in kisumu city on Monday and passed several far-reaching resolutions, one of them urging president Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto to visit Luo-Nyanza in the near future at their on convenience time.

The meeting chaired by Ker Meshack Riaga Ogalo and attended by 30 elders from all the four Counties within Luo-Nyyanza was held at the Museum view hotel within the posh milimani estate within in Kisumu CITY also urged the community to re-brand itself and avoid the politics of confrontation with the government og the day in order to foster fast development in the region.

This was the meeting of the management steering committee of the Council. It will be followed by another meeting of the governing council scheduled to be held at the Ofafa Memorial Hall at a later date net month.

The elders issued a stern warning to the youthful members of parliament from Luo-Nyanza most of them the so-called “Green Horns” to humble themselves to the government of President Kenyatta and to stop issuing reckless utterances, which are viewed as hostile to the government in order to attract development in the region.

The elders also called upon the government to use all the means at its disposal to fight the up surging insecurity situation .They expressed concern particularly on the deteriorating security along Nyakach-Kericho border by apprehending those instigating trouble in the area.

Flanked by the Council’s secretary Mzee Edward Adera Osawa the elders said the would like President Kenyatta and DP Ruto to extend their tour of Nyanza to cover all the 20 parliamentary constituencies in the region, and to visit all the Counties of Siaya, Kisumu, Homa-Bay and Migori and meet the people.

The meeting urged the government to ensure equitable distributions of the national cake so that all the Kenyan communities could benefit from the country\s recourses irrespective of the party of affiliation.

Party of the affiliation

The elders called upon the two communities living along the Rift Valley-Nyanza Provinces, namely the Kipsigis and the Luos to live in peace and harmony, and to abandon retrogressive practices such as cattle rustling, which caused the losses of lives.

The elders reaffirmed their loyalty to President Kenyatta and his Deputy Ruto and disclosed that the next meeting will hammer out the contentious plans for the members of the Luo Cuncil of elders to visit state house in to discuss political and socio-economic development matters in Luo-Nyanza.

Another resolution asked the government to do everything at its disposal to stop the illegal importation of sugar in to the country saying that the practice is hurting sugar millers in Nyanza, some of them are just about to halt their operations and send thousands of workers home.The situation is getting out of hand and the President should use his political magnanimity dynamism to restore sanity in the sugar industry.




Rports Leo Odera Omolo In Awendo Town.

Unable to sell its made sugar and stuck with huge stockpile of the commodity in its warehouses, the Awendo based SonySugar is on its death bed and on the verge of total collapse. If the production at the government wholly owned multimillion shillings facility, located in Migori County stopped production, this will spill thousands of its close to 2500 workforce out job.

The leader of the majority at the Migori County Assembly Johnson Omolo Owiro has appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta and the government to bring to a halt the illegal importation of sugar from foreign sources and protect Kenyan workers from being declared redundant.

Omolo Owiro is the MCA representing Central Sakwa ward in which SonySugar is situated. The ward also houses Awendo Town. He complained that the illegally imported sugar from outside and inside Cmesa region has flooded the market and were selling as cheaply as 70 per kg as opposed to SonySugar products, which is selling at Kshs 140 per kg. The company has has reduced the price of its sugar from Kshs 3800 per 50 kg to kshs 3200 per 50 kig, but still is unable to market its sugar due to the saturation of the market which is currently flooded by the illegal imports.

The problem has spilled over to the sugar cane farmers within the SonySugar cane growing zones. The miller is also unable to pay the cane suppliers in time. Most of the millers have reduced the price of raw cane from Kshs4800 per ton to almost kshs 300o per ton, and sooner or later it is likely to go down to Kshs 2500 per ton.

The cost of cane production for an acre is almost close to Ksh 6000. The government should arrest and prosecute the sugar barons involved in this racket. Some of the smugglers are said to be business magnates and politicians with connection in high places. Illegal sugar imports comes from Egypt, Tanzania and via some ports along the Kenya Somalia borders. “This must stop, because we cannot go on paying our hard earned money to the foreign workers at the expense of our own people. “Kenya must protect its citizen working for the sugar millers, ” said Omoloo Owiro.

SonySugar, he added is the largest manufacturing industry in Southern Nyanza and therefore a major source of employment to the locals. ITS collapse and closure would therefore impact negatively to the economic growth and development of the region.

Meanwhile reports reaching us say that nearly all the sugar millers in Western Kenya have got huge accumulated stockpile amounting to over 50,000 tons of sugar worth millions of shillings. The illegal sugar imports by smuggler has also affected the sales of the same commodity in other mills like Mumias, Chemelil, Muhoroni, Trans-Nzoia, Sukari Industries, Kibos and Trans-Mara millers.

Omolo Owiro, who is the former Mayor of Awendo, said his people, particularly cane farmers, were experiencing a lot of difficulties, unable to pay for their children’s school fees and to buy basic food commodities because SonySugar has run short of money to pay for the cane bills in time. The company is limping, though its top managers are making concerted efforts to keep it afloat and in business, but it can not go on like this when it can not sell its products to the consumer who most have opted for the illegally imported sugar ,which is selling cheaply.

The smugglers of sugar should be arrested and charged with economic crime and treated as saboteurs. Sabotaging the national economy of the Kenya nation. Owiro called upon the Senators and MPs from the sugar producing region to introduce a motion authorizing the immediate arrest of the racketeers.



to: “”

By Agwanda Saye

A Kisumu based Civil society charged with promotion of use of alternative dispute resolution mechanism for peaceful co-existence Uhai Lake Forum Organization is now engaging youths in useful ventures as away of reducing insecurity and has also brought on board elders within the luos and Kalenjins fighting over cattle rustling.

The organization which is now based a long the volatile Kisumu and Kericho Counties has also brought on board elders from where the two communities have been fighting over cattle rustling which has resulted into seven people being injured, fifty seven houses being burnt down and five hundred households being displaced have died resulting to who works in the region to bring the elusive peace among the warring communities have now organized meetings among elders from both sides to address the insecurity situation. Tom Onyango the Co-coordinator of the organization that is being funded by Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFORD) said they have identified elders they been engaging in the past and will organize for peace meetings across the border.

“The locals say that the absence of jobs is the reason for the rice in criminal activities that has seen the rise in cattle rustling sparking conflict in the region” Onyango said. But elders in Nyakach are now calling upon the national and the county governments to create employment to the youths and offer soft loans for business start up to make them become self reliant. John Rasare, an elder from Nyakach said the national government needs to assist county governments to earmark projects that could engage the youths in the country. Rasare said that a free and secured society is for the government to invest in its youths who are believed to be the strength of every economy. The locals now want the county governments to establish a youth databank to help develop policies and services geared for young people. “Lack of job opportunities has been blamed for the youths engaging in criminal activities, including engaging in cattle rustling and the government should address the social, economic and security challenges facing the youth. “He added Onyango who led the organization to the ground that was hit with clashes further announced that they are mooting plans to establish community peace committees along the troubling Nyakach-Kericho boarder. He said that in the wake of skirmishes in the area that has led to the killings of six people, the committees should strive to incorporate the youth, women and other interested parties drawn from the border. “The conflict along the border is an issue that has taken the government along time to bring to end and should now resort to home grown solution by involving the locals themselves,” he said. Onyango said they had organized more forums within these areas and have identified peace ambassadors who will work closely with the communities to create awareness on the need to co-exist peacefully.

He also says that youths should maintain peace and learn to live with harmony with each other “As a civil society we will strive to ensure our people live peacefully and put the government on spot over the creation of more jobs for our youths,” said Onyango.



News Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

CAMPAIGNING for his second term re-election in 2007 the retired president Mwai Kibaki made a pledge that his PNU government would create 500,000 jobs for youth and school leavers annually.

Indeed several half a dozen of newly established industries sprung up during the period of 2007-2013 giving Kenyans the hope for more employment opportunities.

Five new sugar mills were established during the period under review with an opening up of close to 1500 employment opportunity for Kenyans. This was in the agricultural sector where new five sugar factories were established and commissioned to be begin their production operation.

These factories included Sukari Industries in Ndhiwa, Homa-Bay Count, Trans-Mara Sugar Company Limited in Trans-Mara, Narok County, Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries limited based at Kibos near Kisumu City, West Kenya Sugar Com0-any and Butali SugarCompany both located near Kakamega town in Kakamega County. The sixth sugar mill is the relatively much smaller Soin Sugar Works , which is located in Ainamoi constituency within Kericho County.

Most of the investors in all these facilities were locally based entrepreneurs and Indians from India.

However, the dream of many Kenya technocrats of securing jobs in these new sugar mills were dashed, when the investors arms-twisted the PNU/ODM coalition government headed by two principals in the name of President Mwai Kibaki and the Prime Minister Raila Odinga, and made sure that they imported their Indian kith and kins from India ,Pakisan and Bangladesh for all senior managerial positions.

Strange things happened. The very government which issued hundreds of work permits to hundred of expatriate workers in the new facilities, leaving Kenyans with nothing to be proud of.

The most shocking thing, however, is the categories of imported expatriate workers. Most of them are said to be semi-illiterate consisting of motor vehicle and electrical mechanics, store-keepers, account clerks, time keepers, cane yard clerks, cashiers, salesmen, warehouse clerks, messengers and the like.

The existing laws and regulations governing the employment of expatriates in Kenya were flagrantly ignored. The existing law says that expatriates may be engaged to fill up a vacancy on jobs categories where a local indignant Kenyan African is not available to take up the position.

The man who was at the helm at the Ministry Immigration and registration of Persons in the coalition government was none, but Raila Odinga right hand man Gerald Otieno Kajwang’ who is currently the Senator for Homa-Bay County.

Expatriate workers, from Indian, were issued with work permits through the back door and within five years they flooded the five sugar factories. In one factory, the proprietors even imported a Cooke specialized in Indian dishes to be In hand to prepare the meals for their expatriate foreign Indian managers and other Indian workers.

This is a very said situation taking into account that after 50 years of independence, Kenya has trained and turned out thousands of technocrats, artisans and so many skilled workers in excess of its industrial output. These highly skilled personnel are jobless while many unqualified foreign workers sits on plum jobs in their doorsteps

A survey recently carried out by this writer revealed that more than 60 Indian are working at the West Kenya Sugar Company, 47 Indians are engaged at the Butali Sugar mill .The two mills are located in Kakamega County. 49 Indians are engaged In KibosSugar and Allied Induaatries ,which is located at Kibos near Kisumu City, 50 are working at the Sukari Industries in Ndhiwa, Homa-Bay County while 45 are engaged on jobs at the Trans=Mara Sugar Company in Narok County.

These expatriates are earning between Kshs 40,000 and 85,000 per month and do repatriates their salaries back home to their families without being subjected to mandatory deductions such as NSSF and NHIF.

All these anomalies happens while the outspoken Secretary General of the COTU{K} Francis Atwoli, who is also the General Secretary of the Kenya Plantations and Agricultural Workers Union is keeping a total mum. Also silent is the Secretary General of the Kenya Union of Sugar Plantation Workers Francis Wagara.

The few lucky African who got top jobs such as supervisors, clerks and in most cases Human Resources Managers, their salaries are so discriminative in comparison with the salaries earned by expatriates. The highest paid African only take home between Kshs 6,000 and 25,000 per month. And in most cases their employment is treated as casuals without any letter of appointments. Some of the expatriate workers are too old and arguably pensioners in their home of origins.

In this context the Kenya government is silent while its citizens are being discriminated on a few jobs which are available and being enslaved in their own motherland with their elected government is keeping mum. And at the same time speaking loudly about its plans to attract foreign investment with the purpose of jobs creation, and yet it cannot give the direct to the existing firms of foreign investors, Who are flagrantly and defiantly contravening the labor laws of the country?

Do we really need clerks, mechanics, fitters, welders, plumbers cookes, account clerks, cane yard clerks and time-keepers from India?

The government should send a team of experts to the five Indian owned sugar mills to carry out a thorough surgery and jobs evaluation so as to ascertain if the hundreds of foreign expatriate workers are necessarily required.



Sugar industry feature By Leo Oder5a Omolo in Kisumu City

Sugar millers in West Kenyan have huge stockpile of unsold produce in their warehouses.

The millers have reported that they are unable to sell the commodities as the local market is currently flooded with cheap sugar imported from Brazil and Egypt finding its way into Kenyan market via unscrupulous folk working in cohort with sugar barons who are reportedly importing cheap sugar from foreign sources. The sugar barons are said to be having connections with the powerful government officials in high places.

The traders in question are the same people responsible for poor cane prices but the Kenya Board, which is the industry regulating body is unable to intervene.

Farmers and millers have appealed to the KSB to come out of its slumber and rescue the sugar industry from totally collapsing.

Frustrated Millers are now said to be in the process of declaring thousands at their workers redundant because of sugar worth millions which the companies were unable to sell in the local market which is currently flooded with imparities sugar. The situation is so pathetic as it threatens to drive Kenyan workers in the sugar industry out of their jobs while we are exporting our money to benefit came farmers and workers in Brazil, Egypt and other sugar producing foreign countries.

Perhaps the Jubilee government headed by the hard working President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta is kept in the dark about multiple arts of economic sabotage through the malfeance the dumping from regions outside COMESA .

A structure deficit exists in COMESA with their surplus from domestic sources and weak compliance for that portion destined to Kenya.

There is urgent need for Kenya key players in the industry to lobby for the exclusion of sugar from rules of origin teamwork and only all our COMESA FTA countries with surplus trafrom domestic production to expert to Kenya.

SNC of Egypt, a government corporation, imparts on government authorization from Brazil over one million metric tones annually for local market supply stabilization and the export the sugarcane into COMESA FTA under rules origin; a glaring loophole must transfer economic welfare to Brazil and producers at the expense

Kenyan sugar cane farmers in the Lake region and western Kenya SIIC of Egypt, a government corporation, imports an government authorization to aim Brazil over one million metric tones annually for it local market supply stabilization and le-export the same quantity into COMESA FTA under rule of origin, a glaring loophole that transfers economic welfare to the Brazilians producers at the expense of the Kenyan sugar cane farmers in the Lake region and in Western province.

It is worth to be remembered that. Egypt is pursuing a mixed economic model of country and free market approaches.

Tax evasion, which is so rampant among private millers who under declare production and sell sugar-un-invoiced. Immigration breaches on work permits through the use of low skilled migrant labor from India and Paikstan…is prevalent in some privately owned sugar mills………some process sugar millers who under dealer production and sell sugar uninvoiced immigration measures on work per unit through the use of low skilled migrant labour train Pakistan and India is prevalent in privately owned sugar mills.

These breaches of fair labour practices allow transfer across traction mixing through inflated repatriated remuneration and contribute to you unemployment in the country

Transfer prices for imported parts and materials act through our country’s own incorporated supplies companies in the UK and India.

Dumped sugar from UAE and Somalia, India, Brazil is fueling crime through financing it. Contraband dumped sugar is used to under through “duty money.”

Incorporate businessmen from Somalia community posing as large sugar traders are the one funding crime from sugar trade, which 15 million Kenyans who depends on locally produced sugar supply chain both directly and indirect arein danger of t of further impoverishment if order is not restored.

Sugarcane farmers / producers have suffered a deadline in farm produce prices from Kshs. 4,300 to Kshs. 3,200 per t0n of produces in the last 18 months and is in danger of further declare to Kshs. 2,500

Unprecedented counterfeiting of packaging for leading sugar brands of Mumias Sugar Company and Sony Sugar is blatantly being carried out by contrabands and sugar traders dumping the non-COMESA sugar in local market.

The produce packed in counterfeit packaging of these two leading companies are openly sold in the coastal towns, North Eastern and part of Eastern, Rift valley and Mount Kenya regions of Kenya. The government therefore should out a thorough investigation about the source of repacked and trended sugar calling in the main supermarket outlets and tact for wholesomeness.

The government should also address public health concerning that radioactive waste and harmful heavy metal could be released to un-susceptive consumer public in Kenya.

Surplus production stocks from prior years, kept in open shortage in countries such as Brazil, India one reproduce of choice for dumping to countries with weak regulatory regimes. The open manner of handling could expose Kenyan Public Health concerns since such sugar is meant for further KRA and KEB’s are powerless in contending the vice involving trip money in Kick back.


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Writes Leo Odera Omolo.

DISCONTENT has arisen in DISCONTENT the three highly agriculturally productive regions in Western Kenya following claims and allegations that the tax regime and the KRA have unrealistic increase the highest percentage of VAT charged on farm inputs and implements.

Previously farm inputs did not attract any taxation. Exempted from paying duties included trucks, tractors,and all the equipments used in farming.

However, according to the VAT Act, which was recently enacted by parliament, all these machineries now attract tax of 16 per cent, making them inaccessible to the farmers.

At the same time the Vat taxation system, it is being alleged, has exempted equipments used in the building construction industry.. Analysts say the construction work is only booming in Central Province and in the capital, Nairobi.

The players in the agriculture sector see some elements of discriminative taxation by the tax regime, which is deliberately and systematically targeting the communities living in the three Agriculturally rich Western Kenya region consisting of the Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western Provinces

Members of parliament representing the various electoral constituencies, which are close to maize producing, sugar cane growing and other areas with high insensitivity of farming have been asked to come out of their slumber .They should introduce motions in both Parliament and in the Senate challenging this discriminative taxation,” said one key player in the agricultural sector who requested for his identity to be kept secret for fear of possible reprisal.

The highly mechanized sugar industry is the hardest hit. There are so many prohibitive taxes charged such as ncess. “If the situation remain unaddressed for long, then Kenya will not be able To beat the COMESA deadline, “hr added.

A visit by this writer in the farming regions 0f Trans-Nzioia, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Kisumu, Kericho and Trans-Mara region revealed that due to heavy VAT taxation now imposed on tractors and other farm inputs farmers can no longer afford to purchase new tractors and other farm implements owing to the skyrocketing prices..

VAT charges have also affected the sales of spare parts. One key player in the sugar industry6 asserted that may be there is a cartel of top government officials working in cohorts with the sugar barons to facilitate the importation of the same commodity so that they in turn could make a kill.. MPS should demand an explanation as to whether the high VAT taxation has any elements of political undertone aimed at the economic strangulation against the communities living 8in the agricultural productive regions in Western Kenya..

If It is true, as it is being alleged, that there is a cartel among the government officials collaborating with the sugar barons with the intent of creating artificial shortage of sugar in the country for their own selfish interests then the sooner such groups would be kicked out of Treasury and the KRA the better. It is sad that such people who are out to impoverish members of the farming fraternity.

The tea industry is another sector which is highly mechanized, which is also suffering from the effect of the heavy VAT taxation system.,

The government should set up a parliamentary committee to investigate allegations about unnecessarly high taxation imposed through Vat so that it could protect the farming community. Unless something positively is done to streamline the excesses in Vat taxation the country could in the near future experience acute shortage food grains.

Companies dealing in the sales of farm inputs have also reported sharp decline in business, which has seen the sales going down with huge percentage .No inquiries about the sales of new tractors, trucks and pick-ups are forthcoming, said one dealer in Eldoret, adding that the government need to move much faster and have the VAT btaxati9n rectified.

Sugar cane is grown in abundance in Western and Nyanza Provinces, whereas maize, wheat, barly is produced in the South Rift region of Narok County and some parts of Uasin Gishu, Tea is grown and produce in the North Rift regions of Nandi and also in the South Rift counties of Kericho, Bomet and also in parts of Trans-Mara.

Other areas where farming is thriving in the ift alley included Nakuru, Molo, Kuresoi,Naivasha, Gilgil, Subukia, Rongai and Molo.



News Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo In Kericho Town

The British multinational tea companies operating in Kericho and Bomet Counties in the Republic of Kenya whose 99 land lease has already expired should not be pushed out of their property, but they should be compelled to donate several hundreds of acres back to the community for the use in establishing essential public utilities projects.

Owing to the fact that the land in the rural locations in the two counties has become too congested and over populated, there are no space for the establishment of important public utilities such as hospitals and universities as well as other institutions of higher learning, therefore some parts of the land on which the tea plantations and factories stand on should revert to the community which were the original owners of the land.

These were the sentiments expressed by a prominent Kericho politician William Kepkemoi Arap Kettienya who reminded the multinational tea companies land that was forcefully seized from its original owners by the colonialists at the turn of the 20th century. Its lease has since expired but the locals live in densely populated rural community reserve land which can no longer be used in establishing socio economic projects such as hospitals and universities, which requires hundreds of acres of land space.

Kericho and Bomet housed more than 45 large tea estates and over 30 tea green leaves processing factories employing over 40,000 work force.

Keiitanya was reacting to a newspaper report which quoted leaders and politicians in the neighboring Nandi County who had called on tea farms whose land lease have expired to return the parcel to the original owners of the land and at the same time restore it to its form it had when the land was taken by force by the colonial authorities and distributed to the white settlers for tea plantation.

There are more than 30 large scale tea plantations for processing factories operating in both North and south Nandi. Key county leaders were amplifying what the Mps from the region had demanded.

Like in Kericho, Bomet counties, the tea farms operating in the region are owned by the British farms and individuals.

The Mps want the ownership of potrate of land used by British multi national companies reverted to the community. However, the leaders of Nandi county are not advancing the proposal that the land be sub-divided, hut will hold them in trust on behalf of the community.

The Nandi county leaders under the governor Cleophas Lagat is in total agreement with the Mps on the contentive issues is now backing the proposal hailed by the Mps and senator Stephen sang, Mrs. Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills), Nandi women rep. Zipora Kurgat , Alex Kosgei (bumugwen), Julias Meli (tindieret), Julius bitok (mosop) lejah lagat(ge) and Oscar sudi.

According to Mr. sang, their man is to give legal community ownership of land and not necessarily to interfere with the manners and the management of the tea firms

‘’we would like to make it clear that we are not trying to stage the kind of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe style of farm takeover Of more companies, but rather empower the local community ownership and not necessarily interfere with owners and management of tea companies, but rather empower the local to be held in trust by the county government”.

There are more than 20 tea estates and factories in the Nandi Hills sub-county of the Nandi county, situated in the western part of the Rift valley.

The companies include George William’s and Eastern province of Kenya, Kepchono, kapchorwa, Koisagat, Sivet, kirkarus ,Nandi Hills Tea Company and others. These companies have employed up to 350000 workers directly and indirectly.

The issues surrounding the lease of the land on which tea estate and factories stand. On has remained the thorniest issue ever since 1996, When some leaders in Kericho and Bomet demanded that the land should revert to its original owners.

Thousands of rural communities previously occupying the land were forcefully removed from their property at gun point and consigned to to drought strickened and unproductive areas at the tune of the 20 century to pave the way for the introduction of tea bushes in the region which began in the early 1910 and 1922.

Some of the British multinational tea companies at one time were forced to disclose that their property land leased was not for the 99 years, but for the 999 years. This stunned and those advocating for the land to revert to its original owners/ The Kenya government made no comment on these claims.

Major tea companies operating in Kericho and Bomet Counties include james Finlays a Scotish firm, which is also of late involved in the production of cut fliers for reports. There are also other firms owned by individuals and companies in the region. They bringing the employment of the labour force in the regions to a total of about 40,000

However, the recent introduction of mechanized tea plucking machines saw a large number o0f workers being declared redundant and sent home. This has reduced the number of workers in the tea company drastically almost by half.



Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

DISCONTENT is high up among the sugar cane farmers in the Nyanza sugar belt over the seemingly endless official receivers management of two sugar companies.

Miwani Sugar Mill and Muhoroni Sugar Company Limited, all government owned parastatals, were placed under the official receivership management in April, 2001. The then Agriculture Minister, Chris Mogere Obure, said at the time that the two companies were to be under the joint official receivers for protective purposes. THe receivership for Miwani was to last for three months while the Muhoroni Sugar Company was to last for six months

In the case of the heavily indebted Miwani Sugar Mills, Obure said government was to appoint financial experts to write its books of accounts and offset its debts. Miwani was heavily indebted to banks, suppliers, cane farmers and workers to the tune of about Kshs 4 billon.

At the time, Miwani had planted cane crops in its 9,700 neucleus farm, which experts had estimated that when harvested, crushed into made sugar and sold would generate sufficiently enough cash money which could offset its debts.

HOWEVER, Reports making the round says that the resources of the two public companies were later subjected to massive vandalization of the highest order. Following the appointments and dismissals of team of joint receiver managers after the other.

And ever since 2001 year after years passed without any signs as to when the joint receivership management would be lifted. Miwani the oldest sugar factory I the country grounded to a halt and stopped crushing cane about five years ago, while the ailing Muhoroni Sugar Mills is still functioning, but and ailing and limping.

Muhoroni MP James Onyango K’Oyoo recently raised objection to the latest appointment of the joint receiver manager of persons of not well proved credibility who however, stood his ground

The songs about the privatization of the five government owned sugar companies have been in the air for the last two decades while the joint receiver managers have continued milking the resources of the two companies. The deals also involved the Kenya Sugar Board KSB}, which is the official regulating body in the sugar industry as well as the parent Ministry.

The appointment of joint official receivers is said to be attracting a lot of goodies, thus confirming allegations and claims that the two companies have since become the “milking cows” for some unscrupulous Ministry’s officials and board members.

The farmers in both Nyando and Muhoroni districts now want the government to expedite the privatization of Miwani and Muhoroni Sugar Companies.

Other rumors making the round within Kisumu and its environs the round within Kisumu and its environs is say that an influential and crafty entity is currently working in cahoots and clandestinely with the wealthy Indian business while targeting the Miwani’s 9,700 acres nucleus estate land for the grab. A source has confided to this writer that it won’t take long the farm which has been subject to a heated exchange between the farmers and the receiver managers as well as protracted legal tussle through courts between the wealthy Indian businessmen in Kisumu is grabbed by the politicians and his collaborators.

The residents of Kano plains and the surrounding rural location are now urging the government either to hand over the two sugar mills to credible investors altogether with their assets including farms. They are insisting that anybody interested in Miwani and Muhoroni Sugar Mills should be ready to invest in the two companies with their crucial land farms intact as it could only play pivotal role in boosting the economy of the region if they are resuscitated and floated for privatization to investors.

The Kano people as well as farmers in the Muhoroni, Chemelil, Kibios,Koru, Fort-Tennan and those farming in the surrounding Locations of South East and North East Kano, Miwani and Kibos. Anything short of this will not be tolerated by the stakeholders.

The farmers are now bold and want the government to kick out the official receiver managers out of Miwani and Muhoroni as their presence is undesirable. This is because their resources. Five sugar companies, which are still under the public investments included the Awendo-based Sony Sugar, Chemelil, Nzoia, Miwani and Muhoroi sugar companies.



Reports Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

Reports appearing in heal media stating that there is discontent among sugar cane farmers over high cost of cane production in Kenya despite the country’s commitment to lift COMESA safeguard by March next year.

Cane farmers are taling myriads of production which are slowly driving farmers out of cane growing moving to other cash crops with letter return.

High cost of cane farm inputs, exploitation by millers , expensive credit and poor execution of regulations governing business in the sugar industry have seen farmers paint give in the production of sugar sub sector of the economy this year.

Nearly all the millers in the sugar cane growing areas have drastically reduced the price of van materials (cane) which had hit Konsoro two years age. The millers are charging huge transport fees.

On top of all the production, train cane farmers, corruption is also rampant in relation to cane harvesting programes rolled out by millers. Delayed payment and indication of deductions

Two new medium size white sugar processing factories were in southern Nyanza region Owal Wachara in Ndhiwa district, the other one in Trans-Mara, Narok county

At the commence business, the two mils when paying the farmers very competitive price of Ksh. 5,000 per metric from. In fact the seller industries in Ndhiwa was paying Ksh. 5,000 and not charging the farmer for transport credit. It has since reduced this to 3,800 per tonne and extra enhanced on the cost of transportation.

The Maasai farmers violently, protected against the unilateral increase in transport charge. They blocked the roads leading to the factory, forcing the operation to an halt at the Trans Mara suffer factory, said the same loader.

Similar problem has risen in industry mills, which is located at Wachara near Oria Narket on the border of Ndhiwa and Levivi Districts . Two mills, one located in places less than 5km from the area to base sony sugar company mills.

However, sony sugar has maintained its prices as rain comes at 480/- @ tonne plus transport lorry fees.

These are allegations and complaints that the Manager charged with the responsibility of harvesting in the Sukari Industries. as one solution of managing, demanded bribes from the poor farmers before carrying out harvesting cane from the farmers field.

This stop and move behind the scenes should he expose and investigated. It is even very sad at this time stage for it to occur.

The ailing Muhoroni Sugar Company has turned out to be a field for trading receivers at the expense of turning the factory around and selling it to strategic indicator with cane farmers getting 51 per cent.

Records and background of those being traded in may be shocking. How were they arrived at during this era of openness and transparency? Could one of the RECEIVERS have been involved in the run down of Mumias Out Powers Company where money COULD have been SWINDLED in purchase of very exorbitant and inflated priced cane transport trailers? Could one of Board which ensured that a situation that was meant to last only 4 month lasted forever on that the low rolled continue to the Milked?

If Milking has been enough can’t he call for a break so that the cow can be attended to by some health expert to ensure its health does not lead to total collapse and death instead of going for any “miller” who has no basic understanding of the cow’s health requirement?

Is it that those who tested other during the last elections must now eat?

Farmers are helpless.



By a Special Correspondent

There are no plans for the establishment on a new sugar processing factory at Riana in Rongo in the near future, according to farmers in the area.

The only plan which is in the pipeline is the construction of a new white sugar plant at Aoch Muga in east Gem Location, Rangwe constituency In Homa-Bay County. The farmers have scathingly criticized the Rongo MP Dalmas Otieno who recently made an announcement that two new factories would take off in the area In January next year.

The farmers, who spoke to this writer and requested for their anonymity, said the MP”s statement has caused a lot of the area. NDEGE oriedo in Riana near Opapo is very close to the Awendo-based Sony Sugar company whereas the Kenya Sug to establish a new sugar plant must ensure its continuous source of supplies of raw material which is the sugar cane.

This rule is meant to ensure that there will be no cut-throat scrambling for the raw material. In the case of Riana the area is less than 40 kilometers from the existing sugar plant at Awendo, there fore what the MP has been telling his constituents is a phantom with not an iota of truth.

In the recent past the Ringo MP has been criss-crossing the region telling his constituents that a new sugar plant would be constructed at Riana and that the investors have already intentions on the site and were training dozens of farmers ahead of the construction. He said 124 acres of land has already been set-aside at Riana for the site of the new plant.

One farmer lamented that it could be that the MP is out to sabotage the new project, which is far away away from Riana. The project has already received the blessing of the Homa-Bay governor Cyprian Awiti and his team.

The multi-million project has also received the blessing of the Kenya Sugar Board, which is the official body tasked with with regulating the sugar industry, therefore we really don’t know what the MP is talking about. We have checked through the relevant Ministry and the KSB and discovered that no second sugar plant has been licensed for the area.

ONE farmer from Rongo disclosed that the MP has recently bought and acquired several parcels of land In and around an area called Ndege Oriedo perhaps in anticipation that when the project takes off at Aoch Muga he would be able to make a kill in the re-selling the pieces of land which he had acquired and this is the 124 acre of land, which he has been speaking about.