Lawmakers from sugarcane growing areas, led by Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi, have embarked on a plan to revive the dying sugar sector.
The MPs say that the fall in the sugar sector was as a result of the Kenya Sugar Board dissolution which had the board turned to a directorate at the Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food Authority (AFFA).
Wafula Wamunyinyi proposed a bill, to seek to reinstate the board and have it operate independently as opposed to relying on AFFA to conduct its operations.
“The sugar sector is on its death bed and if we do not do anything to awaken it will surely die. That’s why Sugar Bill 2019 comes in so that when it is implemented, the Kenya Sugar Board will be able to operate independently. My colleagues from other sugar-growing areas have agreed on this legislation that hopefully will steer the revival of the sugar industry.” said Wamunyinyi.
My colleagues from other sugar-growing areas have agreed on this legislation that hopefully will steer the revival of the sugar industry.
The legislatures also say that if the bill is implemented, sugarcane farmers will have a say in the management of sugar factories, since the Kenya Sugar Board interacts directly with individual farmers and can approve the importation of sugar.
“The directorate has no idea what to do in some of these matters. The board, on the other hand, will have ideas just like in the past because they talk to farmers on the ground,” said Wamunyinyi.
The sugar bill also seeks to give absolute powers to the board to put to book those who will be operating unlicensed jiggery mills, controlling duties and taxes, and formulate all policies, plans, and programs that lead to the development of the industry.
The Sugar Bill 2019 was read for the first time in parliament on Wednesday, October 30th and if it is approved, the Sugar Arbitration Tribunal will be back to deal with disputes between millers, growers and all stakeholders.