The Agriculture ministry has banned sugar imports with quick impact, and suspended buying and selling licences.
The transfer is supposed to curb the inflow of low-cost sugar available in the market, which has impacted negatively on farmers.
Agriculture Cupboard Secretary Peter Munya stated the imports have rendered native mills uncompetitive due to their low-cost nature.
Mr Munya stated the ministry famous an inflow of unlawful imports, particularly by way of Busia border because the unscrupulous businessmen took benefit of curfew hours.
“Now we have suspended all brown (desk) sugar imports into the nation with quick impact. Now we have additionally suspended pre-shipment approvals and extension of all sugar import permits till additional discover,” he stated.
“The uncoordinated importation of brown sugar has rendered Kenya’s mills uncompetitive. Ex-factory costs for the mills stay at Sh85,260 for a tonne in contrast with the CIF worth of Sh60,117 for an identical quantity,” the CS added.
Mr Munya stated the situation explains why native sugar is struggling available in the market towards the imports.
He stated the nation could quickly be confronted with a sugar glut trigger by the elevated importation that might finally result in the collapse of the trade.
The announcement comes simply weeks after leaders from western sugar belt raised concern that prime importations had rendered sugar factories untenable, impacting negatively on farmers.
Kenya is allowed to import 350,000 tonnes from the Frequent Marketplace for Japanese and Southern Africa to fill the deficit.
Nonetheless, stopping imports is prone to consequence to excessive price of the commodity available in the market as a budget imports normally test the excessive price of the sweetener domestically.
The CS made the announcement yesterday when he rolled out a raft of reforms geared toward streamlining the sector that has been a perennial dismal performer.
Different reforms introduced embrace leasing of state-owned sugar mills to non-public traders for a interval of 20 days to course of and develop cane on farms owned by the millers that embrace Muhoroni, Chemelil, Sony, Nzoia and Miwani.
Mr Munya stated the lengthy leases of state-owned companies will assist improve farmers’ revenue and enhance competitiveness and companies within the sugar sector.
“Via complete reforms, the federal government is decided to facilitate a multi-purpose sugar cane trade that’s environment friendly, diversified and globally aggressive by way of enhanced trade competitiveness and value discount technique,” the CS stated.
Sugar imports within the first 5 months of the yr rose 21 per cent in contrast with an analogous interval final yr at the same time as native manufacturing has within the final two months been recording slight enchancment.
In keeping with the Sugar Directorate, imports between January and Could stood at 207,814 tonnes towards 172,213 tonnes in the identical interval final yr.
Enhanced imports got here amid a 15 per cent improve in native manufacturing, with development in native yields attributed to a slight enchancment in cane provide to non-public millers. All of the personal mills registered improved productiveness within the overview interval.
“Sugar imported in January–Could 2020 amounted to184,677 tonnes towards 150,302 tonnes in the identical interval final yr, a 21 p.c improve, attributed to excessive desk sugar imports within the overview interval to bridge native deficit,” stated the directorate.