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Politics blamed for low sugar production

25 November 2014, 16:15 Ken Wekesa

Mombasa - Agriculture CS Felix Koskei has refuted claims that sugar importation is affecting sugarcane farmers in Kenya, saying the wrangles are politically instigated.

Koskei said that sugar that is imported into Kenya does not even reach the maximum limit allowed for importation.

Speaking to the press during the World Fisheries Day, Koskei said Kenya does not produce enough sugar to sustain its demand by the consumers.

"Kenya produces 600 000 metric tones of sugar while the consumption is 850 000metric tones, leaving a deficit of around 250 000 metric tones annually," said Koskei.

He said the sugar imported is within the limits set and Kenya can import to a maximum of 350 000 metric tones of sugar annually without any interference from the national government.

The CS revealed that that the COMESA protocols demand that Kenya free its borders.

"We were told that importation goes up to 350 000 metric tones and we have not even reached there; what you see is politics and we will deal with it," Koskei said.

The CS also said that the Ministry has embarked on a process to revive fish farming in the coastal region of Mombasa.

"The marine fishery is estimated to be between 150 000 and 300 000 tones yet Kenya at the moment has not attained the target," said Koskei.

He said the government will build a fish port at in Mombasa and Lamu to enable Kenyan exploit the resource that had been left for foreigners because of the absence of a fish port.

Koskei also revealed that the government plans to roll out aqua fish farming projects in schools to enhance fishing and help control the over exploitation of fishing grounds in Kenya.

"50% to 70% of the fish is obtained from farming; that iswhy we are pushing for aqua farming in schools," said Koskei.

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