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November 15, 2018

Gazette sugar rules to end cane poaching, urges MP

Workers unload sugar canes from a tractor at an open yard in the Mumias sugar factory in western Kenya February 24, 2015. REUTERS
Workers unload sugar canes from a tractor at an open yard in the Mumias sugar factory in western Kenya February 24, 2015. REUTERS

Muhoroni MP Onyango K’Oyoo has asked the government to gazette sugar industry regulations to stop cane poaching.

K’Oyoo asked the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri to gazette regulations saying cane poaching and illegal sugar importation contributed to woes faced in the sector.

Cane poaching has been a thorn in the flesh for years now with sugar millers in Western Kenya asking the national government to revoke licenses of companies lacking cane, arguing that it will deal with the vice.

Kenya is divided into five sugar zones with milers restricted to the area they can source cane from. However, the licensing of new millers in some of the zones has resulted in constant wars due to cane poaching.

This has seen farmers complain of lack of sugar regulations which they said has led to cane poaching, high debt portfolio and farmers’ arrears.

However the Muhoroni MP noted that reinstating of the suspended regulations will shield state-owned millers from cane poaching in Western region.

“I feel that posting of inept managers by the government to run the factories has also contributed to the underperformance of most sugar industries in Nyanza and Western."

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