The impact of Nzoia sugar factory on the socio-economic development of Kanduyi division
Masinde, Augustine K
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The study examines the various processes of change resulting from the operations of the sugar factory at Nzoia and its high level spatial interactions with the surrounding a re as . The sugar factory is here treated as a possible development point, from where, favorable processes of change are expected to emanate and then diffuse to the pertinent surrounding areas. The related socio-economic variables are; farm income, improved infrastructure, improved household living conditions, employment opportunities and income generating activities. An examination of the physical and human environments reveals a high potential for sugar-cane production. The study uses a scientific research methodology to collect, analyse, and interpret the research data. From the analysis the following findings have been made: (i) the sugar project caused the eviction of many households which put them on the verge of total imp 0 ve r ish me n t ; (ii) the small holder cane farmers are beleaguered by many short-comings which make cane production almost a totally unprofitable venture. I ( i i i) the study area doesn1t benefit much from employment opportunities albeit the so many of them created; apart from the fact that levels of employment have been declining for the last six years. , (iv) the sugar factory hasn't had growth- inducing effects on the local economy due to very low incomes farmers get from their cane crops. (v) there has been a general improvement in transport infrastructure network, and; (vi) there has been an emergence of market centres in parts of the study area which have become important central places. Using a comprehensive welfare approach definition of development, the study concludes that the sugar factory project has not had a positive socio-economic impact on the development of the study area. I t is noted that this is attributable to both institutional and structural incompetence that characterise the relevant parties in the sugar industry. The study further makes several policy recommendations on a remedial basis to make cane production economically viable for small holder farmers and the local economy as a whole. Besides, recommendations are made for further research on the subject.