Local firms including West Kenya bid to lease state owned sugar companies

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The Nzoia Sugar Company
The Nzoia Sugar Company

Local firms are among a group of 29 companies which have expressed an interest in leasing state owned sugar industries. The sugar mills that were put up for leasing include Nzoia Sugar Company Ltd, Chemelil Sugar Company Ltd, Muhoroni Sugar Company Ltd currently in receivership, Miwani Sugar Company Ltd also in receivership, and Sony Sugar Company Ltd. Speaking on Tuesday after presenting the bids, the interim Head of Horticulture Crops Development at the Agriculture Food Authority (AFA) Benjamin Tito said the next stage that will follow will be evaluation of the bids and those that qualify will be asked to present their proposal out of which winners shall be picked.

Some of the Companies which have expressed an interest in leasing the mills are Butali Sugar Mills, Kibos Sugar, Trans Mara Sugar limited, West Kenya Sugar Company, Sukari Industries, Mini Bakeries, Kuguru Food Complex, Khetia’s Drapers, Kimilili Packers, Rjarambpu Patel Sugar, Sao Martino, China CAMC Engineering Company Limited, Shenzhen Start Instruments, Mheta Group among others.

In an effort to revive the ailing sugar sector, the government had introduced a raft of measures, part of that being clearing debts owed by the sugar millers, debts owed to KRA, money owed by millers to the former Kenya Sugar Board as at December 2019, debts owed by farmers to the former Kenya Sugar Board by December 2019 were written off. The aims of leasing include paving the way for modernization of the mills, which goes hand in hand with increasing profitability, and also setting up reliable and efficient managements.

The lessees who qualify will have a period of 25 years, and interested investors were invited to submit expression of interest in providing the service. In a reminder on an advert placed on the dailies on July 10th, The AFA AG. Director General Anthony Muriithi on 15th July urged potential bidders who may wish to submit soft copies of their EOI to do so by encrypting their documents in PDF and send them to info@afa.go.ke. All firms prequalified at the Expression of Interest stage will receive a Request of Proposal from the AFA and will be taken through a 28-days evaluation process. Announcing the reforms last month, Agriculture CS Peter Munya said they are meant to not only help the sugar mills but also cushion the local farmers.