Kenya to seek extension of Comesa sugar importation safeguards

NAirobi – Kenya will seek an extension of Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa) safeguards which end in March, Agriculutture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei said over the weekend.

NAirobi – Kenya will seek an extension of Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa) safeguards which end in March, Agriculutture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei said over the weekend.

Koskei added that the country’s sugar industry should first be stabilised before the protection measures are lifted.

The Cabinet Secretary said the government was still in the process of rehabilitating the mills for effective and efficient operations.

“The time left for privatisation process to be concluded is not sufficient,” he said.

Koskei said the government will seek the extension to finalise the privatisation of the sugar industry which still faces numerous problems and cannot easily survive in a fully liberalised market.

“If the safeguard is put into play with the current situation then most of the factories will close down,” Koskei said.

Kenya Sugar Board director Nicholas Oricho and Kenya Sugarcane Growers Association secretary general Richard Ogendo supported Koskei.

Oricho said cane farmers in the country should be given time to marshal their resources to enable them buy shares in the factories when they are sold.

“We want our farmers to benefit. They are the major stakeholders,” he said.

The Kesga boss said that most of the farmers in the country have not benefited from sugar cane farming due to poor cane.

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