Stop playing politics with sugar industry, cane farmers tell Uhuru Kenyatta (Daily Nation (Kenya))

Cane farmers from western Kenya have asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to stop playing politics” with the sugar industry.

They asked the Head of State to tell Kenyans what prompted him to enter into an agreement that will allow cheap Ugandan sugar into the country when local factories are struggling to survive.

The Kenya National Federation of Sugarcane Farmers asked MPs, senators, governors and MCAs to stand up in solidarity with them by rejecting the move to auction the multi-billion industry to the neighbouring country.

The federation’s Secretary General Mr Ezra Okoth said sugarcane farming is the source of livelihood to the residents of Nyanza and western regions and should be protected.

Instead of thinking of how to salvage our struggling millers from financial crises, we are massaging the egos of Uganda at the expense of our economy. The President goofed on this matter and must apologise to Kenyans, Mr Okoth told journalists in Migori town on Friday.

Cord leader Raila Odinga early this week criticised President Kenyatta for inking the sugar importation deal with Uganda, warning it could lead to the total collapse of local millers.

He also questioned the pact that allows Kenya to export beef and dairy products to Uganda, arguing that the capacity to produce the two products for local consumption, let alone export, is lacking.

The ODM leader challenged President Kenyatta to make public the deals he signed with his Uganda counterpart Yoweri Museveni to allow the public to judge their worthiness.

President Kenyatta has since defended the trade pact.

He said it was improper for Mr Odinga to claim that the trade pact would flood the Kenyan market, which is facing shortage of the sweetener, with cheap sugar imports, yet Uganda was a significant trading partner as it imports a lot of products from Kenya.