Government to implement sugar taskforce recommendations

Branded Mumias sugar.The government will implement the recomendations of the sugar taskforce country./FILE

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the Government will implement recommendations of the sugar Taskforce as part of ongoing efforts to revive the sector.

The President made the assurance Monday at State House, Nairobi when he received the report of the Presidential Taskforce on the Sugar Sector.

President Kenyatta told the taskforce co-chaired by Agriculture CS Peter Munya and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya that the Government is keen to ensure Kenyan sugarcane farmers earn decent incomes from their crop.

“As leaders, ours is to ensure farmers get maximum returns from their sweat,” the President said .

The report whose key recommendations include the re-introduction of the sugar levy, privatization of public sugar mills to enhance their efficiency and the enactment of the Sugar Act.

The sugar levy will be charged on consumers so as to raise the revenue needed to assist farmers to develop their sugarcane crop.

Other proposed reforms include the gazettement of the sugar sector regulations including import rules, amendment of the AFA Act and Crops Act in line with the 2010 Constitution, and a review of the taxation regime in the sector to enhance investor incentives.

The taskforce also proposed strict compliance with the COMESA regulations and outlined a raft reforms needed to increase the sugar sector’s productivity.

On privatization, President Kenyatta who was joined by Deputy President William Ruto said the Government doesn’t need to engage in business as its role is in facilitating farmers to get the best seed, fertilizer and other farm implements.

“The private sector will do business while ours is to support farmers interests. Let us look for more innovative ways to achieve this as long as it is done in a transparent manner,” the President said.

The task force, which was set up on 8th November 2018 completed its assignment and will be in place until the whole process of reviving the sector is complete.

Governor Oparanya said the task force is convinced that with the implementation of their report, the country will be able to revive its ailing sugar sector to benefit millions of farmers.

Cabinet Secretaries Peter Munya (Agriculture) and Ukur Yattani (National Treasury), as well as Governors Anyang Nyong’o (Kisumu) and Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma) who are members of the taskforce, also attended the State House meeting.