Kenya aims to produce one million tonnes of sugar by 2015

By Ronald Njoroge and Chrispinus Omar  
Kenya has set a target of producing one million tonnes of sugar by the end of 2015, the country's regulatory authority has said.
   Kenya Sugar Board Chief Executive Officer Rosemary Mkok told Xinhua that in 2012, the country's 11 millers produced 493,937 tonnes.

   "The government is in the process of divesting from the industry so that by 2015, the country will produce one million tonnes locally," Mkok said during the second India Sugar Expo in Nairobi on May 14.
   The three-day event brought stakeholders from Africa and India to discuss ways of increasing collaboration. "Privatization has been identified as a key pillar of improving the efficiency of the industry," she said on May 14. She noted that despite the duty free access, Kenya did not export any sugar in 2012 to the Europe Union market. "The price offered in the market is not attractive enough for local producers," the KSB official said.
   She added that in 2012, Kenya's consumption stood at 794,000 tonnes. "The deficit is plugged through imports, mostly from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa trade bloc," she said.
   Kenya Society of Sugar Technologists Coordinator Barrack Onguko said that Kenya's reliance on rain fed sugar cane limits production. "We want to follow the example of India where most of sugar is grown through irrigation," he said. (Xinhua)