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Kenya gets extension to protect local sugar

By Standard Reporter | December 8th 2015

The Government has secured a 12-month extension of sugar safeguards that were to expire in February 2016, giving Kenya more time to streamline the ailing industry. The extension will operate on the basis of the terms and conditions set out in Directive No 1 of 2007.

These included privatising State-owned mills, conducting research into early-maturing and high-sucrose-content sugarcane varieties and adopting them, paying farmers on the basis of sucrose content instead of based on weight, and maintaining the safeguard as a tariff rate quota.

The conditions also include maintaining and providing infrastructure, including roads and bridges, in sugar-growing areas. Comesa Policy Organs’ meetings are taking place in Lusaka, Zambia, where Kenya is being represented by Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed as the minister responsible for international trade covering Comesa.

The extension to February 2017 will provide temporary comfort for players in the sugar sector as they gear up for increased investments in the industry with the privatisation process underway. Speaking in Lusaka, Mr Mohamed said, “This is big win for Kenya, but also a call for fast-tracking of the reforms in our sugar sector.”

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