KENYA – The government of Kenya has gazetted new regulations known as the Crops (Sugar) (Imports, Exports and By-products) Regulations 2020, to govern importation of Sugar in the country.

With the new regulations, sugar importers will be required to acquire new permits before they are allowed to ship in the commodity, reports Business Daily.

This comes a month after the government banned the importation of brown sugar and suspended sugar import permits and pre-shipment approvals in a bid to curb influx of the cheap sweetener in the domestic market, which has negatively impacted the local sector.

“All those who want to continue with imports have to register under the new regulations,” said Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.

“Importers are advised to get and study both the regulations and the guidelines as they begin to apply for registration and apply for the annual permits. Going forward, no sugar will be imported or exported outside the framework of these regulations and guidelines,” he added.

The CS also highlighted that the regulations will also govern a number of other key issues in the sector that include the determination of sugar distribution in the market, the repackaging and rebranding of sugar consignments as well as curbing contraband.

In other related news, CS Munya has disbanded boards of state-owned sugar factories that are now lined up for leasing processes to hand over management to private entities. Revocation of the appointments is with effect from 16th July 2020.

The affected mills include Nzoia sugar mills based in Western, Chemelil sugar-based in Nyando and Sony sugar-based in Migori County.

However, the notice did not touch on the fate of Muhoroni and Miwani mill which are under receivership and do not have any existing boards.

The government approved the leasing of the five state owned sugar factories last month July, in a bid to increase value addition, farmers’ incomes and improve competitiveness and service delivery in the sugar Sector.

The factories will be leased through long term leases of at least 20 years under Right of Use (ROU) on a firm commitment that the lessee will re-develop and operate factory to meet the governments objectives.

The idea behind leasing is that government will invite investors with experience in the global sugar industry with a focus on sugar as the main product and co –production of ethanol, co-generation of power and value add products such as industrial sugar, pharma sugar and sugar cubes.

So far, they have received bids from 29 companies including two firms linked to the billionaire Rai family i.e. West Kenya Sugar Company and Sukari Industries.

Other bidders are China CAMC Engineering Company Limited, Shenzhen Start Instruments, Mheta Group, Kiboss Sugar, Butali Sugar Mills, Mini.

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