The government has prohibited all imports of brown sugar.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya on Thursday, 2nd July. revoked the licences of the entities that have been importing the product.
Speaking after the event, the CS said that the move was necessary to protect sugarcane farmers from unwarranted competition.
“Sugarcane is as essential a cash crop as are tea, coffee, horticulture and even maize. However, for the industry to meet this potential, reforms to its existing structures are pertinent,” he noted.
The CS said that the government was engaging stakeholders in the sector to come up with recommendations that would enable farmers get maximum return on investment.
He noted that lack of regulations to govern the industry and high cost of production were some the challenges affecting sugarcane farming.
The new move comes barely 24 hours after President Uhuru Kenyatta met a delegation of leaders from western Kenya to deliberate on how the economy of the region can be boosted.
The Head of State assured them of government’s commitment to implementing the recommendations made by the Presidential Task Force on the sugar sector.
A number of sugar companies in the western Kenya have shut down while other are struggling financially.
Recently, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Ombetsa Oparanya said that sugarcane farming must be given prominence just like other agricultural sectors.
“Sugar barons are the cause of sugar importation crisis. We are introducing a Bill in Parliament through a Private Bill from MP Wafula Wamunyinyi from Kanduyi and we have met with CS Peter Munya for amendments.
“The Bill is now before the National Assembly and hopefully, it will be ready within one month,” the governor said.