KENYA – Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei has revealed plans to import 21,000 metric tonnes of sugar in anticipation of shortage in the country.

Mr Koskei said the move to cushion consumers follows the closure of two sugar milling factories; Mumias and West Kenya Sugar for maintenance. Koskei said over 10,000 metric tonnes of cane were stuck at the factories and have raised possibility of a sugar shortage.

“We have concluded the process of importing 21,000 tonnes of sugar and 7,000 will be delivered in the country next week. Sugar stakeholders foresaw a shortage following the closure of the two factories as we have unmilled cane stuck in the factories,” he said.

The CS called on distributors and buyers of the commodity which was ordered from the East Africa community not to panic, saying the product’s supply will not be affected by the temporary shortage. He also warned distributors against raising the prize of sugar in the market.

“There is no need to punish consumers by raising the prize of sugar. I ask all sellers or distributors not to panic as the temporary shortage has been addressed and we will have enough sugar by next week,” said Koskei.

He reiterated the Government’s commitment to check and control illegal importation of sugar, which he said had affected prizing of the product.

“We are trying hard to find equilibrium in the import of sugar. Previously, our factories had suffered in supply as unscrupulous individuals conducted illegal importation of the product,” said the CS.

Koskei said the Agriculture ministry was collaborating with stakeholders in the sugar industry including the sugar board, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards and the ports authority to end illegal importation of sugar.

October 27, 2014;