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Archive for the category “Agriculture”

Opinion: Have the Jubilee forgotten Mumias?

In the recent time, not so long ago, the Mumias Sugar Limited was involved in not only spending big on political campaigns in 2017, but they also got big payouts with funds reviving the company that same year in 2017. Now two years after the previous elections, the KCB Bank put the company in receivership. This means the funds are insolvent and they struggle to raise enough funds to keep it afloat. That means the owners like Evans Kidero, Amos Wako and Henry Rotrich are struggling to keep it alive.

Surely, they didn’t see this coming. In 2000 and in 2001, the turnover records was set for the company. Since then the privatization and the other measures done, has clearly made the company volatile, as well as the opening of the boarders for more sugar imports. This must have all hurt the turnover, the profits and the margins of the company. Like back in 2008 alone, the company was behind over 50% sugar production in the Republic. That means and shows the importance of Mumias and its operations in Kenya.

Therefore, when it falls as hard it does today. It shows that its left behind. That the business-model, the strategic enterprise isn’t working. Maybe even, that the Jubilee haven’t seen it as an priority post-2017 Elections. We know the importance of it, as it is reported that professor Tom Ojienda has also obtained and solicited illegal funds from this company. That is why we know its vital place in the political sphere and in the republic as whole. The elite has been eating of the company and enjoyed it services, to a point that its crashing.

The millers, the sugar-farmers and the workers are the losers, as the receivership means the bank will runs the operations, until they possibly find a buyer. Someone buying its stake, since the company lacks funds to operate properly. This means, the investors and buyers needs to be loaded, to be able to fill the gaps of financial input, which is clearly needed. That is ironic, knowing how many campaigns, how much the company has gotten favours and how it has high-ranking officials whose had shares in the company.

The income statement on FT says it all: Year on year Mumias Sugar Company Ltd’s revenues fell -34.06% from 2.09bn to 1.38bn. This along with an increase in the cost of goods sold expense has contributed to a reduction in net income from a loss of 6.77bn to a larger loss of 15.14bn”. This shows how its burning funds and not earning at this point.

We can wonder if the Jubilee will bail on this one or if they are planning ahead for 2022 and want the support of Kakamega. This would be a vital investment, not only in the sugar business, but in the region. As they would save a big business, which has been the biggest producer and miller on the market. This is if the Jubilee cares, but if they are reckless, than they let it go. But then expect them to pay a price. As they are destroying an old institution, business and former state owned enterprise, which is now in the mercy of Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).

This is not a good look. So my question is, have the Jubilee forgotten this company and its role in society? Or do they think there is someone else’s turn to have that place?

I don’t know, but this is shady, letting a company like this fall and one, which process sugar from the farmers. They will be limbo and need to supply other millers, since this one cannot sustain itself and needs new investments to cover the losses. In the end, the sugar-farmers are the losers. Peace.

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KCB Bank Kenya Statement on Mumias Sugar Ltd. (24.09.2019)

Brexit: Ministre de l’Agriculture et de l’Alimentation – Communique de Presse – Pache: a Helsinki, Didier Guallaume et les Ministeres europeens reaffirment la femete de l’UE pour une gestion concertee et solidaire des consequences d’un Brexit sans accord (23.09.2019)

Karamoja is running into a possible food crisis, but Mzee says its green!

Greetings. These pictures were taken at Kobebe dam, in Karamoja, as I waited for H.E Uhuru Kenyatta. I was at Latitude 2° North & 48 minutes (2°48 N). You can see how green it is!! The temperature, at that moment, was 22° celsius, very pleasant. The myth that Karamoja is dry is only perpetuated by those that do not know the opportunities available. Yes, Karamoja gets rain for fewer months than in the South of Uganda” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 12.09.2019).

Well, its one of those days. The President shouldn’t demystify the area, but govern it properly. As there are already warning signs in concern of the food security in the region of Karamoja in August 2019. Therefore, the President should have warned about this and worked with the right authorities to secure the public. Instead, his busy with a photo-op and spreading his good news before yet another high ranking meeting with foreign dignitaries.

Let me show first, what IPC 3 means and also what the FAO warns about. Let’s take a look.

FEWS Net IPC 3 meaning:

PHASE 3 Crisis. Households either:

– Have food consumption gaps that are reflected by high or above-usual acute malnutrition;

OR

– Are marginally able to meet minimum food needs but only by depleting essential livelihood assets or through crisis-coping strategies” (FEWS NET – ‘Integrated Phase Classification’).

FAO Food Security Outlook:

In Karamoja, a typically high sorghum prices and below-average firewood-to sorghum terms of trade continue to significantly limit household food access and maintain above-average acute malnutrition prevalence. Due to a poor start of the rainfall season and reduced area planted, delayed harvests will gradually begin in September and sorghum production is expected to range from 20 to 40 percent below average on the district level. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely to persist through September and into October. As harvesting progresses, food security will gradually improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through January” (FAO, 30.08.2019).

So, when the President speaks of the green land of Karamoja, his not concerned or thinking about the public. As they suffer malnutrition and lacking production of sorghum in the region. This should worry a President and he should think of the public there. Instead, his blowing praises on green fields and putting up tents to meet another head of state.

This shows that the President isn’t there to act upon the warned trouble ahead. The state should act upon the problematic food security. It should create and make arrangement to secure the public get enough food, the rising malnutrition shows signs of maladministration.

Certainly, the President doesn’t want to hear that, as his all about Steady Progress, but this problem in Karamoja is prevalent and repetitive. Its not like this haven’t happen in the region before, it has and is something the NRM and President could have acted upon. That is if he cares, alas, he don’t. His had 33 years to do something and ensure food security.

This is because of the reduced area planted with crops/cereals in the region and also the delayed harvest, also a poor rainfall in the season. All of these things should worry anyone, but the President is praising green grass. So we better let him be and praise his wisdom. Because, people is starving since they believe in myths. Peace.

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Zambia: Where the government claims the Opposition created the maize-inflation, I beg to differ!

This week in Zambia, you have arrest of opposition leader and also claim that another ppposition leader is in-charge of the rising prices, the inflation and the overall added expenses on the staple food: Maize.

However, we all know that is rubbish. Because, UPND Hichilema isn’t in-charge of any ministry or government portfolio. It is the Patriotic Front (PF) and President Edgar Lungu whose in charge of the mess created. It is his people whose not on guard and fixing the issues within the Republic. That is why the issues are there, because there is a need for basis and control from the state.

In addition, that the PF is attacking others and claiming their faults for their mismanagement. It is easier to point the finger at HH and UPND. Instead of acting reasonable and finding out why there is a growing inflation on staple-food and the need for price cap on Maize.

Look!

On Sunday, the 25th of August 2019, the Agriculture Minister of Zambia, one of the most highly urbanized countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Michael Katambo said following a meet with millers, chain stores, stockfeed manufacturers and grain traders that they all had agreed to put a cap on maize price in order to keep the nation’s staple food affordable. On top of that, the Agricultural Ministry had also added in a statement that a ton of maize could be sold at a maximum price of $198.93 or 2,600 Kwacha ($1= 13.07 Kwacha)” (Sourav D. – ‘Zambia introduces price cap on maize (corn) amid farmers’ protest’ 27.08.2019, Financial-World.Org).

Zambia’s headline inflation accelerates for sixth consecutive month in August, jumping to new multi-year high as food price pressures weigh. Despite the reintroduction of maize price caps, surging food prices may steer inflation to breach double-digit territory by end-Q3” (NKC African Economics, 30.08.2019).

Lusaka Province secretary Kennedy Kamba told journalists yesterday the two directors recently invited United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema to coerce him into petitioning the Commission over alleged corruption in the government. Mr Kamba said those were some of the clandestine tactics the opposition and some public servants were using to discredit President Edgar Lungu and his government because they had nothing else to talk about as the government had delivered in all sectors. At the same briefing, Lusaka Province PF chairman Paul Moonga warned millers against conniving with the opposition to create artificial mealie meal prices and commodity shortages” (Charles Musonda – ‘ACC BOSSES EXPOSED’ 30.08.2019, Daily Nation)

The PF should consider their actions, because it is their lack of actions in time. That is the reason for the inflation on the staple food. If not their inside dealings, which has told stories to HH. It is not that he gets the truth from directors of millers.

Therefore, the state and the PF needs to look into itself and its shortcomings. If they want it for the better. PF needs to act upon that, not that HH or anyone else is questioning their actions. Since, his just doing his duty as an opposition. HH is not governing, that is what the PF does, if not they are not doing it well enough. That is why HH and the opposition is the scapegoats for the lack of due diligence from the government itself.

Seriously, something is up. I don’t know what it is or the reason for it. But there is something not sorted out. Because, an inflation and a price-cap on maize doesn’t come over night. Peace.

Zimbabwe: Open Letter in Response to Negative Press Surrounding Fert, Seed and Grain Pvt Ltd (FSG) – (27.08.2019)

Opinion: A $400m Command Agriculture scandal rocks the Republic!

The Ministry of Finance and the whole ZANU-PF have to showed and told the world that they paid Ferts, Seed & Grain (FSG), the Merdian owned corporation the amount of $400m in 2019. The same company they paid $69m and couldn’t answer for the usage of funds.

This is the same company, which came into a scandal in 2018, for the lack of production and equipment for the order of fertilizers in an $89m, a year later, the same company is supposed to be good enough to carry a $400m deal. This is outrages and make the Republic look like a fool.

The family of Morland must be in joy of the fortunes they are making, all of them. Steve Morland, the director, Operation Andrew Morland and Factory Tony Morland. All of them must have joyful days, even though, maybe Isaac Muranganwa, the financial controller is a bit pre-occupied finding reasons for these trades. In addition, Kara Morland is busy finding the New PR Stunt, after the sudden Presser explaining the $400m deal today with Command Agriculture.

If this company struggled to produce for the contract in 2018, which is under ¼ of the current estimated deal, than we have a shallow grave and a ghost sales of epic proportions to the Merdian owned FSG. The Morland operated of Kew Drive in the Highlands in Harare. Surely, when I can do this research. The ones doing the tenders within government should be able to do this too.

So, when the Public Accountants Committee in Parliament cannot answer this, but has the ability to overshadow the shady deal with a company, they have previously engaged in. They should surely be more careful. Instead they hope of the ignorance of the people.

When, I a nobody can find this information and even the previous scandal in mind, the state is showing lack of due diligence or lack of care for own spending. As they have spent close to $500m to uncertain deals, as a part of Command Agriculture, where about $469m be questioned, two shady deals, the same company and surely the same culprits in-charge.

Alas, ZANU-PF doesn’t kid itself, only the public, they and cheat, while people have to ask for debt-relief. Peace.

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