Why government sugar companies don't thrive, Dr Mukwahana

Industrialization PS Dr Juma Mukhwana has listed reasons that have frustrated the revival of the government-owned sugar factories.

He said decision-making that takes long has made it difficult to run government owns sugar companies.

Dr Mukhwana also listed issues around the Procurement Act and Public Finance Management Act which he said, hold the factories back from competing with the private sector.

He said these reasons have hindered efficient running of government owned factories in the region from competing with those in the private sector.

Dr Mukhwana admitted that the government run factories are faced with a lot of challenges, among them, reducing land size under cane farming.

He said to run the government factories efficiently and effectively, there is a need to benchmark with the management of the private sector.

"As we think about the model that we are going to do, we must bring private sector management into this sector for us to succeed," Juma said.

PS was speaking at the on-going two-day sugar conference in Kakamega County organised by the Lake Region Economic Block.

The government seeks to revive the ailing sugar industry that has been a major concern of the cane farmers in the western region.

The sugar companies owned by the government are Nzoia, Chemelil, Miwani, Muhoroni, South Nyanza and Mumias.

President William Ruto in his recent five-day tour to the western region pledged his administration's commitment to resolving the long-standing challenges facing the sugar industry in the Western region.

The Cabinet also resolved to reverse its earlier decision to privatize state-owned entities within the sugar sub-sector and approved the programme for the revival and commercialization of the sugar companies.