Kenya: Cheap sugar imports put sugarcane farmers in trouble

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Nairobi: Kenya is facing sugar scarcity; therefore, it is forced to import sugar from other countries. Sugarcane farmers in the country claim that they are facing huge losses due to the cheap sugar import. They have demanded the resignation of Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, saying he has failed to protect their interests.

Sugarcane farmers alleged that the average sugarcane price is Sh3,500 per tonne from Sh4,300 about two months ago. And upon enquiring about the same from sugar mills, they have been told that the market is flooded with cheap imports.

The country faced drought in 2017/18, which has impacted the sugar output and the industry is yet to recover from the same. Also, the decline in sugar production was attributed to less production by sugar mills. Also, shut down of Mumias, Chemelil, and Kwale Sugar Company deteriorate the condition. Many sugar mills failed to operate due to scarcity of sugarcane, which has affected the sugar output.

Recently, Sugar mills in Kenya also asked for a ban on sugar importation as they claimed that they are facing huge losses due to the cheap imports from other countries.

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