In Brief

Senate approves key reforms in new Sugar Bill

The Sugar Bill, which proposes several reforms aimed at reviving the sugar sector has proceed to the third reading at the Senate. The Bill, which Navakholo Member of Parliament Emmanuel Wangwe sponsored, proposes several rules requiring stakeholders to import sugar only if there is a deficit of the commodity in the market. Failure to conform to the directive risks a Kes10 million fine, a ten-year jail term, or both.

“A person who imports sugar into Kenya shall, before importation, provide evidence that the sugar they intend to import is not available in the local market and shall provide a sample of the sugar to be imported and a pre-import verification certificate from the country of origin,” reads the Bill.

The senators also agreed on the provision requiring sugar importers to provide samples for testing before actual importation. According to the Bill, this move will protect the local farmers from substandard products. Further, a Sugar Development Fund and Sugar Levy will be reintroduced to support sugar research and manage services within the county governments.

The Fund is expected to prioritise issues of sugar development across the country and shield the local farmers from incurring losses.

According to the Economic Survey of 2022, the sugar industry remains a vital source of livelihood for approximately 17 percent of the Kenyan population. It serves as a primary employer and sustenance provider for numerous households across 15 counties in Kenya, spanning regions such as Nyanza, Rift Valley, Western, and Coast.

Read also: Controller of Budget gets an earful from Treasury

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