Employers seeks stricter laws on sugar importation

Wednesday, April 24th, 2024 00:01 | By
FKE executive director Jacqueline Mugo. PHOTO/Print
FKE executive director Jacqueline Mugo. PHOTO/Print

The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) has decried importation of cheap sugar leading to drastic reduction in sugar cane prices.

FKE executive director Jacqueline Mugo claimed that sugar prices have dropped from Sh6,050 to Sh5,100 per tonne, posing challenges for farmers and consumers alike.

“To address these issues, reforms should be considered, including stricter regulations on sugar importation to prevent market distortions,” said Mugo. The current price drops that have adversely affected sugarcane farmers and undermined the competitiveness of local manufacturing.

Presently, a two-kilogramme packet of sugar costs  Sh399 down from Sh450 in August last year.

Mugo stated that last year, the government permitted duty-free access for upto 100,000 metric tonnes of sugar from non-COMESA countries, which led to increased imports from non-traditional sources like Thailand. This should not happen again, she stated.

Additionally, she observed that Kenya’s sugar production has declined to 650,000 metric tonnes this year because of lower harvests caused by premature harvesting of cane  in the previous year.

Mugo spoke as Kenya’s Sugar Pricing Committee implemented a two percent reduction in the price of sugarcane, responding to a concurrent decrease in the cost of the commodity in the retail market.

In the recent review, the committee, mandated with periodically assessing sugarcane prices, revised the cost from Sh6,050 per tonne to Sh5,100.

The head of the Sugar Directorate, Jude Chesire, cited a notable decline in retail sugar prices as the driving factor behind this adjustment.

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