Sugar mills are poised to resume operations on December 1, more than four months after being mandated to close due to allegations of harvesting immature cane. This development brings relief to sugar cane farmers who have faced challenges since the Agriculture and Food Authority (Afa), the regulatory body for food crops in the country, suspended operations in August.
Willis Audi, the Director General of Afa, confirmed the plan to lift the suspension on December 1 when contacted by the Business Daily. Although the reopening of the factories was initially scheduled for November 1, it was postponed to the upcoming month.
Kenya boasts 16 sugar factories, with five—Miwani, Chemelil, Muhoroni (under receivership), Nzoia, and South Nyanza—owned by the government, which also holds a stake in Mumias Sugar, currently under receivership. Notable private milling establishments include tycoon Jaswant Rai’s West Kenya Sugar Company, West Kenya – Olepito Sugar Unit, and Sukari Sugar Industries. Additional private millers encompass Butali Sugar, Kwale International Sugar, Busia Sugar Industry, Soin Sugar Company, and Miwani Sugar.