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An image of raw brown sugar. Photo: Courtesy

Government bans importation of brown sugar.

The government has on Thursday July 2, announced the ban on all imports of brown sugar.

Agriculture CS Peter Munya while announcing the cancellation of import licenses, stated that the move has been occasioned by illegal importation of sugar into the country, which is now a cancer in the sugar industry which for a long time has been on a slow death.

The CS in a statement noted that the Ministry of Agriculture has embarked on a process of reviving the multi-billion sugar sector, with reforms ranging from the implementation of the recommendations of the sugar task-force report, that was presented to the Head of State February  this year.

Other measures undertaken by the ministry include Privatization of the State-owned Mills through a long-term lease Model and writing-off of debts of the state-owned mills and out-growers.

“The government now proposes to lease its factories to private companies. The successful bidders will be required to have a Factory Improvement and Modernization Programme as well as a commitment to co-production and co-generation. In other words, we shall set targets for both ethanol and power production for the lease-holders”, the statement read in part.

The President had on July 1, met western Kenya leaders and discussed ongoing government efforts to revive the ailing sugar sector including the Mumias and Nzoia sugar factories.

The Head of State assured the leaders of the government’s commitment to reviving the sector by fast-tracking the implementation of the sugar task-force report.