Learn more about the African Sugar Market with our latest report.Download

Packaged sugar at the port of Mombasa.

Photograph: Kenya Ports Authority


Lazarus Mamai

Marketing & Communications

October 9, 2023

Kenyan government locks out local millers from importing sugar

Sugar importation in Kenya has taken a new turn, particularly in a noteworthy move by the government to address the prevailing shortages. Interestingly, private entities and government-controlled millers are excluded from participating in this importation initiative.

Agriculture and Livestock Cabinet Secretary, Mithika Linturi, unveiled a distinctive approach restricting importation rights solely to private individuals, permitting them to bring in an impressive 100,200 metric tonnes of sugar within a concise four-month importation timeframe.

The driving force behind this importation strategy is to restore equilibrium to the nation's sugar industry, which has experienced an unprecedented surge in prices due to the inability of local millers to fulfill domestic demand.

With the capacity to generate an annual sugar output of 600,000 tonnes, Kenya remains challenged by a shortfall of 200,000 tonnes, necessitating external sourcing.

"The government has locked out private and government-owned millers from being part of the importation deal that will see the country import sugar amid shortages."

Despite the government's aspiration to secure sugar imports from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), this objective has encountered obstacles due to scarcity. Surplus-holding nations have been unwilling to sell their stock within this domain.

Last week, President William Ruto addressed the intricate challenges plaguing the sugar sector. At the heart of the matter, concerns persist regarding the sugar subsector. The issues span from confusion to disorder, including unauthorized transportation of sugarcane and non-compliance with established regulations.

President Ruto shared his thoughts on this at State House, stating, "The sugar industry is causing apprehension, and we've witnessed disruptions throughout the sector. Disorder has ensued due to the illicit movement of sugarcane and the flouting of regulations."

"President William Ruto revealed on Wednesday last week that he was aware of the challenges in the sugar sector, blaming brokers for the mess in the sector."
Africa's Commmodity Intelligence Platform
© 2024 kulea. All rights reserved