A task force formed to probe the woes facing the sugar sector and provide a detailed way forward has been formed. Speaking at Kilimo House in Nairobi, Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri said the 16-member task force was formed after President Uhuru Kenyatta’s order to have the issues facing the sector and farmers solved. The task force will be co-chaired by CS Kiunjuri and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, and includes representatives from different bodies including the Attorney General’s office, and public and private mills representatives.
The tasks given to the team include reviewing the sugar industry value chain including research and make appropriate recommendations, review the policy, legal, regulatory and institutional framework of the sugar industry and make appropriate recommendations. The Agriculture CS said the task force will also review the past, present and emerging challenges facing the industry, review importation and taxation structures in the sugar sector, identify and evaluate the most suitable strategic interventions to revitalize the state-owned sugar mills and review pricing mechanism in the sugar sector and make appropriate recommendations among other roles. Kiunjuri added that the task force will work within a time frame of 30 days, “It’ll develop a comprehensive report with recommendations to be implemented in the short term, medium term and long term,” he said.
Speaking at the taskforce unveiling, Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa said the desire of President Kenyatta is to have the sugarcane farmers’ woes solved by Christmas this year, adding that they see hope for the farmers. He affirmed that the Devolution Minister will support the task force to come up with the report and that the entire Western/Lake Region economy depends on the sugar sector.