Kenya: KAM unveils plan to revive the sugar industry

Nairobi – Kenya Association of Manufacturers called today for the revival of the sugar industry.

This was during the launch of the KAM sugar sub-sector strategic plan, which aims to guide the industry’s growth, resilience and sustainability.

Speaking at the launch, the Chief Administrative Secretary of the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, Dr Lawrence Karanja, noted that the government remains committed to reviving the sugar industry.

“We remain aware of the obstacles to the growth of the sugar industry. As such, we reaffirm our commitment to develop solutions to improve the competitiveness of Kenya’s sugar industry. Addressing these solutions requires a multisectoral approach. This is why we continue to work in partnership with different ministries and agencies, to regulate the sub-sector, control sugar imports as well as develop and promote sugar cane value chains. For example, we are currently implementing the findings of the

task force report, as part of the combined efforts to revive the sugar sector, ”explained Dr Karanja.

KAM President Mucai Kunyiha stressed that the sugar industry continues to face challenges that hamper its recovery and eventual growth.

“Limited research and development, excessive sugar imports, weak regulatory mechanisms and the dumping of sugar hamper the industry’s effectiveness as an economic and social catalyst. Consequently, this led to inadequate total production and ultimately to difficulties in meeting market demand. It is therefore essential that we turn the sugar industry over to make it competitive – locally, regionally and internationally, ”Kunyiha said.

The chairperson of the KAM sugar sub-sector, Ms. Joyce Opondo, shared the vision of the KAM sugar sub-sector.

“KAM’s sugar sub-sector strategic plan is aligned with the sugar working group report, government development plans, the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the policy and operational frameworks of the Ministry of Agriculture. The plan aims to guide the sugar industry to reposition itself competitively, encourage the adoption of policies and innovations that will result in an efficient and effective sugar industry and improve the link between national policy priorities and sector level actions. We are optimistic that the plan will help unlock the potential of the sugar industry and actors along the value chain, ”Opondo noted.

The strategic plan was developed following consultations with the government and stakeholders in the sugar industry. It covers three strategic themes – Sugar sub-sector policy and advocacy; Research and innovation; and development of the value chain and sub-sector. The three strategic themes have been broken down into smart objectives, with corresponding strategies to enable the KAM sugar sub-sector to achieve its objectives.

Rachel J. Bradford