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Imports split sugar farmers as gates open

A man shops for sugar. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A man shops for sugar. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

Sugarcane farmers from western Kenya have opposed a plan to have local millers import and re-brand the sweetener for sale to customers, terming the move a death blow to the industry.

They said once millers engage in retail business, they would forget their core role of crushing cane.

Kenya National Federation of Sugarcane Farmers deputy secretary general Simon Wesechere said millers control the lives of cane farmers directly, adding that they should be as far away from imports as possible. 

“Millers are only supposed to crush cane to avoid conflict of interest. It’s through sugarcane production that the livelihoods of over 150,000 farmers will be sustained,” he said. 

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