Ugandan sugar manufacturers are currently stuck with the sweetener after Kenya banned imports, local media reports.
The ban means that at least 35,000 tonnes of sugar exports from Uganda will be locked out of Kenya, which is expected to increase Uganda’s stockpile according to Daily Monitor newspaper.
Uganda Sugar Manufacturers Association, the umbrella organization for sugar producers say is currently stuck with stockpiles of about 150,000 tonnes with Tanzania, which had previously completely banned exports from Uganda, only allowing in about 20,000 tonnes.
Jim Kabeho, the Uganda Sugar Manufacturers Association chairman was quoted by Daily Monitor saying the sector is in a “crisis”.
“We are in a crisis. Local sales are low and now exports [are being locked out]. It is a big problem. If we can’t sell then factories are going to close,” he said.
Kabeho said the lack of market will also affect farming communities, who can nologer sell their cane.
Kenya closed its borders for truckloads of cane from entering its territory from Uganda for unexplained reasons.
Kenya’s Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya announced a ban on all sugar imports and subsequently revoked all sugar import permits, some of which were held by Uganda manufacturers and exporters.
Munya said the influx of imports in Kenya had negatively impacted sales of Kenyan sugar producers, leaving them with huge unsold stocks.
Kenya had previously allowed in sugar imports after one of the country’s largetst producers – Mumias – had experienced capacity challenges.