Evolution of the Sugarcane Industry

Since the inception of the Kenya Sugar Industry in the early 1900’s payment of sugarcane has been based on tonnage irrespective of cane quality. This kind of cane payment system has several shortcomings.

The Kenyan Sugar industry produces at high costs and is under permanent threat of cheaper imports from lower cost producers, especially from sugar producing COMESA countries.

Some of the weaknesses in the sugar sector which hamper efficient cane production are:

  • Low cane yields as a result of poor varieties, with low sucrose and high fibre content;
  • Poor cane husbandry practices;
  • A payment system for cane based weight instead of sucrose
  • Processing of cane in factory
  • Low factory performances in terms of sugar recovery

 The Kenya Sugar Industry is in the process of shifting to a quality based cane payment system as opposed to the existing weight based cane payment system. The successful partnership between sugarcane growers and millers hinges on a trusted and equitable division of proceeds. At the heart of this is the impartial determination of the value of sugarcane delivered to the mill by each grower. Also to be noted is that this system puts pressure on the inefficient grower.Read more