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Busia Governor calls for restriction on Import of sugar

Excessive importation of sugar from Uganda continues to hurt Kenyan farmers as they incur huge losses due to lack of market for their cane. 

Addressing the press at the Busia Agricultural Training Centre (ATC), the Governor of Busia, Sospeter Ojaamong, said that sugar from Uganda has taken over the market at the expense of farmers who continue to lavish in poverty.

“Busia sugarcane farmers have been greatly affected by counterfeit sugar from Uganda, which has taken over market in our county,” Ojaamong said.

Local millers have been blamed for importing cane from neighbouring country through the engagement of middlemen whom farmers claim demand for kickbacks when harvesting the cane in Busia- Kenya.

Farmers claim that the middlemen buy their cane at Sh 3,500 per ton as opposed to the government recommendation of Sh 4,300, a deficit of Sh 800 per ton.

Following the RRI’s crackdown on importation of sugar, Ojaamong has urged KEBS to standardize sugar market and also to ensure companies operate within the law to save sugar sector.

“KEBS should be strict on imported sugar and approve sugar that meet standards required at the international level,” he added.

Olepito trucks load at farmer

Ojaamong has challenged the Kenya Revenue Authority to tax local sugar fairly to protect sugar factories within western region.

“KRA should not pose the same rate of taxation on foreign and local sugar; we must favour our own farmers,” he said.

The Governor highlighted that plan are underway by the County Assembly of Busia to pass Bill that will assist in regulating importation of sugar and safeguarding farmers and the local factories.

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