The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has called for the revival of the sugar industry
This was during the launch of the KAM Sugar Sub-Sector Strategic Plan, which seeks to guide the industry’s growth, resilience and sustainability.
Dr Lawrence Karanja, ministry of industrialisation, trade and enterprise development chief administrative secretary, noted that government remains committed to reviving the sugar industry.
“We remain cognizant of the headwinds to the sugar industry’s headwinds to growth. As such, we reaffirm our commitment to developing solutions, to enhance the Kenyan Sugar Industry’s competitiveness. Remedying these solutions requires a multi-sectoral approach. This is why we continue to partner with different Ministries and Agencies, to regulate the sub-sector, control sugar imports as well as develop and promote sugarcane value chains. For instance, we are currently implementing the findings of the Sugar Taskforce report, as part of combined efforts to revive the sugar sector,” explained Dr Karanja.
Mucai Kunyiha, KAM chairperson, highlighted that the sugar industry continues to face challenges that hinder its revival, and eventual growth.
“Limited research and development, excess sugar importation, weak regulatory mechanisms and sugar dumping hinder the industry’s effectiveness as an economic and social catalyst. Consequently, this has led to inadequate total production, and eventually difficulties in meeting market demand. It is therefore critical that we turn around the sugar industry, to make it competitive – locally, regionally and internationally,” said Kunyiha.
Joyce Opondo, KAM Sugar Sub-Sector chair, said, “The KAM Sugar Sub-Sector Strategic Plan is aligned to the Sugar Task Force Report, Government development blueprints, Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the Ministry of Agriculture’s policy and operational frameworks. The plan aims to guide the sugar industry to reposition itself competitively, foster the adoption of policies, and innovations that will result in efficient and effective sugar industry and improve the connection between national policy priorities and sector-level actions. We are optimistic that the plan will help unlock the potential of the sugar industry and the players along the value chain.”
The strategic plan was developed following consultations with the government and the sugar industry players. It covers three strategic themes – Sugar Sub-Sector Policy and Advocacy; Research and Innovation; and Value Chain and Sub-Sector Development. The three strategic themes have been cascaded into smart objectives, with corresponding strategies to enable the KAM Sugar Sub-Sector to realise its goals.