Politics has delayed sugar import rules, says lobby (Daily Nation (Kenya))

A poisoned political atmosphere has slowed down plans to draw up guidelines to control importation of sugar from Uganda, according to a trade lobby group.

In an understanding signed by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its Ugandan counterpart, a body was to be set up to draw the regulations.

There was also a plan to set up a body to monitor sugar trade between the two countries, including licensing specific manufacturers, according to Mr Laban Onditi, the vice-chairman of the Kenyan chamber of commerce.

The Ugandan lobby would also have to issue a certificate of origin to ensure only sugar manufactured in Uganda is sold in Kenya, Mr Onditi told the Nation yesterday.

Penalties for breaching the contracts were to be agreed upon before trade began.

When we got back after the deal, the atmosphere was so bad everyone was confused, Mr Onditi said.

The certificate of origin would ensure pre-shipped sugar does not make it to the Kenyan market.

Mr Onditi said the agreement was based on availability of surplus in Uganda and a deficit in Kenya. Uganda has a capacity of crushing 19,800 tonnes of cane per day.

According to Ugandan manufacturers, the country produces about 465,000 metric tonnes of sugar against a consumption of 320,000 metric tonnes, leaving them with a surplus of 145,000 metric tonnes.

Kenya produces 600,000 metric tonnes against a demand for 900,000 and fills the deficit from imports.

We at the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry were gladdened by this show of solidarity, because some of our members will definitely be involved in filling those orders either in the manufacturing or transporting of the shipments, the Ugandan lobby’s President Olive Kigongo wrote in the Daily Monitor.