By Getrude Matayo
Following the ban on sugar importation in the country, the retail price of sugar has gone up between 30 and 40 shillings in the past one week with the Sugar Directorate now opening an investigation to ascertain the cause of the supply distribution that has caused the price spike.
Kabras sugar was retailing at 100 shillings for 1 kilogram for the last two months, it has shot up to 114 shillings while the Naivas sugar that used to go for 100 a kilo now goes for 118 shillings.
According to the sugar Directorate, there was an expected interruption in the market and they are investing to find out exactly what has happened along the value chain leading to a spike in prices.
“There was a sudden interruption but we are investigating” Rosemary Owino, Interim Head of the Sugar Directorate.
Two weeks ago, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya banned the imports of sugar and revoked all the mort permit that was current.
According to Peter Munya, the influx of imports in the country had impacted negatively on sales of local sugar producers, leaving them with huge unsold stocks.
In the first five months of the year, sugar imports rose 21 percent compared with a similar period last year even as local production has in the last two months been recording slight improvement.
Ban on importation of brown sugar
The government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, suspended, with immediate effect, the importation of brown sugar into Kenya in an attempt to help the local industries grow.
Making the announcement, the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Mr. Peter Munya said the flooding of cheap imported sugar from other countries into the Kenyan market has played a major role in bringing the local factories to their knees.
On top of suspending the importation of brown sugar into the country, Mr. Munya also suspended the pre-shipment approvals and extensions of all sugar import permits immediately, until further notice. At the same time, the CS has also suspended the importation of raw cane into the country.
“We are further prohibiting the importation of raw cane with immediate effect and all applications for brown sugar imports shall also be subjected to the sugar imports/export regulations that are soon to be gazette,” said the CS.