The sugar industry in Kenya was initiated and dominated by the private sector. To foster development and efficient management of the sugar industry, the Government of Kenya(GOK) established the Kenya Sugar Authority (KSA) under an order of the Agriculture Act cap 318, through legal notice 32 of March 17th, 1973 to advise on the sugar industry development in the country. During the KSA tenure, the government invested in the establishment of 5 sugar mills. The Authority established the Sugar Development Fund to finance cane development, factory rehabilitation, infrastructure development, and research.

To expand the mandate of Kenya Sugar Authority, Kenya Sugar Board was established in 2001 by the Sugar Act, 2001. The expanded mandate of the board was to regulate, develop and promote the sugar Industry, coordinate the activities of individuals and organizations within the industry and facilitate equitable access to the benefits and resources of the industry stakeholders. The board facilitated the expansion of the industry by licencing more private millers.

Agriculture Sector Reforms of 2003 led to the enactment of the AFA Act 2013. The purpose of the reforms was to consolidate numerous pieces of legislations within the agriculture sector, address the overlap of functions, address obsolete legislations, and to benefit from economies of scale.

This led to the repealing of the Sugar Act, 2001 and gave birth to the AFA-Sugar Directorate (AFA –SD)

To date, the regulatory, development, and promotion mandate of the sugar value chain is under the AFA – Sugar Directorate.