Kenya imports 350,000 tonnes of sugar from the COMESA bloc.
The price of sugar in leading supermarkets has fallen by up to 18 shillings per two-kilogram packet, in the past two months in what is set to bring relief to many households as consumers start to reap the benefit of an increase in local production.
In most Supermarkets, the price of a 2-kilogram packet of the commodity has dropped down from 225 to 189 shillings. The price for a 1 kilogram of sugar has also dropped down from 110 shillings to 100 shillings.
Sugar millers have attributed the price fall to panic among distributors who are anticipating cheap imports from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) bloc.
The price fall ironically comes at a time when the government has tightened import measures by restricting the amount that can be shipped into the country, to curb flooding of cheap sugar that had initially been blamed by processors for depressed prices.
Millers have therefore been left with no option, but to sell the product at low prices in order to eliminate the risk of remaining with huge stock.
The current prices are attributed to an increase in production locally with the volumes of sugar cane coming from farms has increased.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the Sugar Industry has witnessed a steady increase in sugar production due to enhanced investments by both government and private players.
In 2020, a total of 603,788 tonnes of sugar was produced compared to 440,935 metric tonnes in 2019. This signifies an improvement of 37 percent in local production
There will be enough cane to produce at least 660,000 tonnes of sugar this year according to the sugar cane availability survey conducted by Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) in December 2020.
Due to the dumping of sugar in the country, the Ministry of Agriculture had banned sugar importation into the country in July 2020 but ended up reversing the decision.
Kenya imports 350,000 tonnes of sugar from the COMESA bloc. The bloc has in the past been blamed for dumping sugar in the country which distorts prices.
The first two months of 2021 have recorded production of 119,552 tonnes of sugar indicating the projection is likely to be achieved.