The Jubilee government is set to import at least 100,000 tonnes of sugar in order to contain the on-going sugar shortage that has seen a rise in prices.
Alfred Busolo, Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) Director-General said that 40,000 tonnes would be imported within two to three weeks while the remaining 60,000 tonnes would follow in two months.
It is believed that corrupt business people are deliberately hoarding the commodity to create an artificial shortage and make profit out of it. Mr Busolo said that the shortage has been caused by a decrease in sugar cane production due to the effects of the prolonged drought.
The average sugar production in the country stands at 600,000 tonnes a year against the average domestic demand of 870,000 tonnes. The government has directed factories to release all the sugar stocks they are holding.
Busolo said that AFA is collaborating with the relevant government agencies to facilitate faster clearance of imported sugar at the ports and borders. Busolo assured consumers that efforts were being made to ensure adequate sugar supply.
The Kenya National Federation of Sugarcane Farmers has urged AFA to deal with private sugar firms that are hoarding sugar. The federation’s deputy director, Simon Wesechere, said that it was not possible for sugar prices to soar beyond the reach of ordinary Kenyans when more than five factories are in operation.