Agriculture CS piles pressure on sugar mills to make profits

Agriculture CS piles pressure on sugar mills to make profits
File image of Mumias Sugar Company. PHOTO / COURTESY

The Ministry of Agriculture is piling pressure on public sugar mills to operate profitably after dismissing claims that the country is not suited for commercial sugar production

This comes as at least five privately run sugar mills record profits operating within the same sugar belt as state owned millers.

Speaking at the Agriculture Summit held at State House Nairobi on Monday, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said public mills, which use outdated machinery and are saddled in heavy debt, need a change in management thinking rather than continuous government bailouts to make the sugar industry competitive.

“For a long time the sugar industry in Kenya was being run by public mills, and the narrative that Kenya is not a viable place to invest in sugar industry has been proven wrong because we now have a number of private mills that have established themselves and are making money,” he said.

Bett added that farmers must also pile pressure on sugar mills to pay them on time, arguing that there is money to be made from the sector.

“The farmers are complaining because the same public mills are not paying them because of the technology used in the mills and the management something that we are very hard on,” he said.

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