Kenya aims to become self-sufficient in sugar production by 2027

Nairobi: The government has allocated Sh600 million to bolster local sugar production by 2027, focusing on cultivating fast-maturing cane varieties with high sucrose content as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) safeguard approaches its expiration a year ahead, reported Capital Business.

Jude Chesire, the director and head of the Sugar Directorate at the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), emphasized the government’s commitment to protect Kenyans from soaring sugar prices.

Chesire acknowledged a decline in this year’s production due to factors like drought. However, efforts to expand cane cultivation have been undertaken, with loans provided to farmers to increase cane hectares. The overarching goal is to achieve self-sustainability by 2027 through these strategic initiatives. Speaking at the 2nd Sugar Industry Innovation Symposium in Kisumu, Chesire noted that once the COMESA safeguard period concludes, Kenya will engage in unrestricted trade with other member states.

Fast-maturing cane varieties have been introduced to farmers, and a government-approved Sh.600 million fund has been allocated to support sugar research institutions in developing new varieties. While state mills have been equipped with sucrose content testing machines, encouraging farmers to adopt these new varieties remains a challenge. Chesire emphasized the need for county governments to raise awareness among farmers about embracing high-sucrose content varieties, which will enhance production efficiency.


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