Kenya: Sugar mills are in deep crisis

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Sugar industry in Kenya is in dip crisis. According to the media reports, the debt of state-run sugar mills has risen to Sh 90.4 billion. This includes taxes, penalties, outstanding loans and finance from government.

The report of national sugar industry stakeholders task force has recommended to implement the 2013 debt write-off plan to ease the burden. The millers are facing problems due to poor governance, outdated equipment and technology, labour-related issues and huge debts.

Miwani sugar tops the list with a huge debt of Sh27 billion followed by Muhoroni sugar which owes Sh 25.1 billion. Other mills also have huge debt on them.

Recently, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s office told that as a revival plan of the sugar sector, Kenya will privatise sugar factories and impose an additional tax. According to industry experts, the ailing machinery, poor funding and the high cost of production are the problems which the sugar sector is facing in the country.

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