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Khalwale Applauds Kenya Kwanza Government’s Triumph in Sugar Sector Revival

In a resounding victory for Western Kenya’s sugar industry, Senator Boni Khalwale has showered praise on the Kenya Kwanza government for its concerted efforts to breathe new life into the once-struggling sector. Khalwale, the Senate Majority Whip, highlighted the transformative impact of President William Ruto’s interventions, asserting that the wheels of change have begun to turn, bringing prosperity to sugarcane farmers in the region.

Bearing Fruits: The Mambo Ni Matatu Effect

Senator Khalwale enthusiastically declared that the government’s commitment, encapsulated in President Ruto’s “mambo ni matatu” approach, has yielded tangible results. He emphasized the disappearance of those who had taken legal action against Mumias Sugar, and the noteworthy development that Butali Sugar is now paying farmers a commendable KSh 6,050 per tonne of sugarcane. The mambo ni matatu philosophy, a stern warning to sugar cartels, is proving effective in revitalizing the sugar sector.

Nzoia Sugar’s Resurgence Marks a Turning Point

The recent resumption of operations at Nzoia Sugar, following a period of closure due to a lack of mature cane, stands as a significant milestone. Over 67,000 sugarcane farmers, who were left in limbo during the shutdown, are now witnessing the positive impact of the government’s strategic decisions to bolster the industry.

Government Measures to Revive the Sugar Sub-Sector

The government’s decisive actions in July 2023, including the closure of local sugar millers to allow sugarcane maturation, have set the stage for a remarkable turnaround. On December 1, sugar factories roared back to life after more than four months of suspension, providing a lifeline to the agriculture sector and uplifting the spirits of sugarcane farmers.

Ownership and Stakeholders in Kenya’s Sugar Industry

Kenya boasts 16 sugar factories, with five under government ownership – Miwani, Chemelil, Muhoroni (under receivership), Nzoia, and South Nyanza. The government also has a stake in Mumias Sugar, currently under receivership. Private millers, including tycoon Jaswant Rai’s West Kenya Sugar Company, West Kenya – Olepito Sugar Unit, and Butali Sugar, play a pivotal role in the industry’s resurgence.

Cane Shortage Challenges and Government Solutions

The severe shortage of cane faced by millers this year, leading some to crush immature crops, has been a critical challenge. Cane deliveries dropped by 26.6 percent in the first eight months, significantly impacting sugar production and retail prices. The government’s measures to revive the sugar sub-sector are addressing these challenges, ensuring a sustainable and thriving future for Kenya’s sugar industry.

In conclusion, Khalwale’s commendation and the government’s resolute actions signal a promising era for Western Kenya’s sugar sector. As the wheels of change continue to roll, the sweet success of the industry’s revival promises to benefit both farmers and consumers alike.

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