ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CROPS (SUGAR) (GENERAL) REGULATIONS, 2020 AND THE CROPS (SUGAR) (IMPORTS, EXPORTS AND BYPRODUCTS) REGULATIONS, 2020 AND PROGRESS OF LEASING OF THE STATE-OWNED SUGAR MILLS

Ladies and gentlemen
1. I would also like to take this opportunity to update you on the progress made on reforms in the sugar sub-sector. Permit me to recap the steps taken and the key milestones that we have reached up to this point.
2. The Sugar Taskforce Report was launched by His Excellency the President in February 2020. Implementation begun immediately thereafter and is now ongoing.
3. A key element of the Task Force Recommendations was the need to stabilise the sugar industry by strengthening the legal framework. To that end, the Ministry drafted and published two sets of regulations: The Crops (Sugar) (General) Regulations, 2020 and The Crops (Sugar) (Imports, Exports and By-products) Regulations, 2020. The general regulations came into force on the 27th May 2020 whilst the import and export regulations came into force on the 10th July, 2020 after going through the necessary processes, that is to say, stakeholder consultations and public participation. The Regulations are available for download by stakeholders and the general public from the website of the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) website: www.afa.go.ke. I expect that stakeholders have had sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the Regulations and are ready for the implementation phase.

4. Broadly speaking the Crops (Sugar) (General) Regulations 2020 are wide in scope. They cover all aspects of on registration of growers, out growers’ institutions as well as millers and their umbrella bodies. In addition, the regulations cover agreements on sugar and sugar cane products. They also address sugar cane development plans, the milling capacity of millers, the establishment and functions of the sugar cane pricing committees and the implementation of sugar cane testing services and standards.

5. It is our expectation that sugarcane growers will form themselves into institutions registered with Agriculture and Food Authority. This is designed to give growers both formality and visibility. It will also make it easier for farmers to advocate and lobby for their own interests – including for example, for membership to the Sugarcane Pricing Committee. Grower institutions will also make it easier to deliver services to farmers. The National and County Governments are committed to supporting growers in this effort.

6. As with the growers, we expect the millers’ umbrella associations to also register with Agriculture and Food Authority. This is not just for their visibility but also for them to more effectively pursue their interests and also have an organised platform through which they can engage other value chain players as well as regulators.

7. Let me also share some practical thoughts with you about the general reforms we are implementing. I don’t expect the process we have embarked on to be all smooth sailing. It is never easy or painless to revive a sub-sector such as this which has suffered a myriad of governance, financial and regulatory failures and set-backs. There are vested interests, that is, those who benefit from a chronically weak sugar subsector. They won’t be happy with the reforms now underway. The Ministry’s approach is to be as inclusive as possible. I believe that a prosperous Sugar sector can benefit all players. That means that any short-run pain that some stakeholders may experience is more than off-set by large, long term gains for all.

8. The second set of regulations that we have published are those covering imports and exports. On 2nd July 2020, the government temporarily suspended the importation of sugar. The trigger for this action was excess importation of sugar in the first half of the year which led to serious market distortions, one example of which were low sugar prices at factory level. Imports that undermine the local industry and depress farmers’ incomes are neither desirable nor sustainable.

9. It is with the aim of safeguarding the local industry and improving the farmers’ income that the Ministry gazetted the Crops (Sugar) (Imports, Exports and By-products) Regulations, 2020. These regulations will govern a number of key issues: the registration of sugar importers and exporters, the determination of sugar distribution in the market; the re-packaging and re-branding of sugar consignments as well as curbing contraband sugar.

In order to promote awareness in the sector, I have directed that an abridged version of the regulations be produced in form of guidelines for stakeholders. Importers are advised to study both the regulations and the guidelines as they begin to apply for registration and apply for the annual permits. Going forward, no sugar will be imported or exported outside the framework of these regulations and guidelines.

10. Finally, let me update you on our efforts to attract new investments into the sugar sub-sector. As you are aware, the Ministry received Cabinet approval to invite investors to take long-term leases on the five state-owned Mills: Chemelil Sugar Company Ltd, Muhoroni Sugar Company (In receivership) Ltd, Miwani Sugar Company (In receivership) Ltd, Nzoia Sugar Company Ltd and Sony Sugar Company Ltd. The procurement process for those leases are on track in line with Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015. An International Expression of Interest was advertised on 10th July 2020 and will close on 3rd August 2020. Thereafter, we shall send out a Request for Proposal, RFP, to all the firms prequalified at the Expression of Interest stage.

11. Let me take this opportunity to give members of the public the following assurances:

(a) The Ministry is committed to a transparent, credible and accountable process. We want to attract and finally secure only those investors we think serious and worthy enough to partner the government in the revival of the sugar industry in Kenya. I therefore take this early opportunity to invite you all for the public opening of the International Expression of Interest (IEOI) scheduled to take place at the Agriculture and Food Authority Headquarters on 4th August 2020 at 14:00 hrs.

(b) That the Ministry has had excellent consultations with the governors in the sugar belt on this issue and I am happy to announce that there is no impasse between the Governors and the National Government. The leasing process is on course.

Conclusion
12. Let me end on a high note: The future of the sugar industry has never been brighter. We can have a sector that both rewards the farmer and makes sugar affordable to consumers. May I urge all the stakeholders including the members of the public to support this effort.

Thank You.

HON PETER MUNYA, MGH
CABINET SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK, FISHERIES AND COOPERATIVES

CS Hon Peter Munya visits Nzoia and Mumias Sugar companies to assess the status of the sugar factories for himself.

Today CS Hon Peter Munya visited Nzoia and Mumias Sugar companies to assess the status of the sugar factories for himself. This was part of the grand tour of Western Kenya by four Cabinet Secretaries to assess the state of all government projects with a view to reviving them. The CS said that the government has written off all debts owed to the government by sugar factories amounting to over 60 billion – 11 billion for Nzoia Sugar alone. He explained that this was done to make the factories more attractive to serious investors. In Nzoia, there was some resistance to a private investor, but the CS was firm terming the resistance anti-development. The same applies to Mumias Sugar although in its case further negotiations are needed because it is a private company. In Mumias, the audience was hugely in favour of a private investor to take over.

Today Madam CAS Hon Linah Jebii Kilimo toured Livestock and Fisheries projects in Makueni County.

Today Madam CAS Hon Linah Jebii Kilimo had a busy day in Makueni County. The CAS toured Livestock and Fisheries projects within the county. These included a newly completed milk cooling plant at Kathonzweni, a fish hatchery at Wote ATC, a chicken slaughter house at Kisite and finally officially launched an aquaponics demonstration project at Kwothithe Secondary School.

The CAS noted the importance of fish farming projects both for income generation and for improved nutritional security and which is suitable at family level and needs only minimal space. She also stressed the importance of value addition on all agricultural produce as a means of improving family incomes.

CS Hon Peter Munya has launched the National Livestock Vaccination program in Isiolo County


This morning, CS Hon Peter Munya has launched the National Livestock Vaccination program in Isiolo County. He was accompanied by CAS Madam Linah Jebii Kilimo and SA Kello Harsama. During the launch the CS announced the successful control of locust control in 25 counties with only a few pockets left in parts of Marsabit and Turkana counties. Indeed, he announced there are no more locusts in Isiolo County to enthusiastic clapping from the crowd.The CS handed over to the country over three quarter million doses of vaccine to be used during the vaccination campaign.

CS Hon Peter Munya launches two Liquid Nitrogen trucks to boost AI services at the Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre (KAGRC) at AHITI Ndomba in Kirinyaga


This afternoon CS Hon Peter Munya paid a visit the Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre (KAGRC) at AHITI Ndomba in Kirinyaga where he launched two Liquid Nitrogen trucks to boost AI services. One truck will be situated in Sotik to serve both the western and Rift Valley regions while the other will be based in Ndomba to serve Central and Eastern regions.

The CS also toured the liquid nitrogen plant and inspected the Goat AI Centre under construction. The Ksh 400m National Government funded Centre is so far about 90% complete. The Centre comprising of a semen processing lab and administration block will house over 84 breeding bucks from four different dairy goat breeds for semen production.

Today CS Hon. Peter Munya visits Gaititu, Nyayo Tea Zones factory in Kirinyaga, to assess the project’s progress

This morning CS Hon. Peter Munya visited Gaititu, Nyayo Tea Zones factory in Kirinyaga, to assess the project’s progress

Gatitu Factory, a vision 2030 Flagship Project, is designed to maximize the Corporation’s returns. In addition, it will help in the development of infrastructure such as roads, supply of water and electricity around the catchment zone. It will also have a major impact on tea production in the area as farmers are expected to boost production due to easy access to the factory.

The Factory will dedicate a considerable percentage of its processing to value addition so as to access foreign markets and attracts increased foreign earnings.

Further, the factory will help create numerous direct employment opportunities to the youths in its locality and sustain livelihoods. Additionally, the factory will also create business opportunities for various value chains through supply of various goods and services.

CS Munya noted that he is pleased with the overall performance of the Nyayo tea Zones, particularly, in meeting it’s mandates in the areas of environmental conservation and in supporting value addition in tea.

PS Harry Kimtai opened a 3 storey Hostel for rabbit feeding and training institute at Ngong Veterinary farm

Later today , PS Harry Kimtai opened a 3 storey Hostel for rabbit feeding and training institute at Ngong Veterinary farm.The institute provides knowledge on commercial rabbit production to individual farmers who can start rabbit breeding business after training. The Institute currently provides in service training to extension officers in the national and county governments . During his remarks, PS Kimtai advised that the management for rabbit breeding and training institute should develop a process of practicing agribusiness for the youths in the country, thus making it a center of excellence. Ngong national and training institute has been in existence since 1979, and it has so far sold 5,869 breeding stock to farmers for a period of 10 years and has exported 60 rabbits of different breeds to Eritrea and 15 to Ghana.