Tuesday, 21 November 2017 10:52

NATIONAL SUGAR INDUSTRY STAKEHOLDERS CONSULTATIVE MEETING

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The Council of Governors in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MoALF) and the County Government of Kisumu convened a stakeholders’ meeting in Kisumu County to look into the status of the sugar industry in Kenya.
In attendance were Governors from the sugar belt region led by H.E Okoth Obado – Governor Migori County, CS for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Authority, Members of Parliament, Members of County Executive Committees, Members of County Assemblies, representatives of farmers and sugar millers and development partners, the stakeholders sort to address and sort solutions to the challenges in the sugar industry.
“This well thought out and timely meeting is the beginning of great things to come that will revolutionize the agriculture sector in Kenya. As the Council of Governors, we are committed to ensure that the resolutions made during this meeting are fully realized at the county level,” H.E Okoth Obado, Chairman Council of Governors’ Committee on Agriculture assured. Evident during the meeting was that industry players recognized that despite the challenges, it is possible to revive the sugar industry. The industry can yet again be profitable and attractive to investment.
“The sugar industry in Kenya has been ailing with innumerable challenges in production, access to inputs and seed, poor sugar factory management, high cost of sugar production and milling and poor sector regulation, “ Obado reiterated.
Collaborative efforts between the national and County Governments with full participation of other industry players will deliver the desired results.
“In 2015, the National Government initiated the process of privatization of the publicly owned sugar milling industries in Kenya after approval by Parliament. This process was preceded and accompanied by a large scale process of restructuring of the sugar industry generally, and the sugar milling companies in particular,” he added.
The stakeholders agreed that privatization of the millers must be implemented in a manner that is agreeable to all stakeholders, fast tracking of the sugar industry regulations and gazette upon resolution of the licensing issue raised by Council of Governors, the establishment of a cane development fund, promote research on crop varieties and commercialization of seed cane production among other recommendations.
The major outcome of the meeting is the renewal of commitment by the national government and County Governments in sugar growing areas, as well as other industry players, to pool efforts and resources for the revival of the sugar industry in the country. Some of the solutions suggested during the meeting will be implemented through Rapid Results Initiative by both National and County Governments.
The efforts focus on improving productivity and reducing cost of production, with a view to improving the welfare of farmers and making the sugar industry sustainable.

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