The retail price of sugar rose by between Ksh 30 and Ksh 40 following the order by Agriculture CS Peter Munya.
A two-kilogram packet of sugar which sold at Ksh 200 currently trades at Ksh 230 while brands sold at supermarkets rose to Ksh 118 per kilo from Ksh 100.
“There was a sudden interruption (of supply) but we are investigating the issue,” Interim Head of Sugar Directorate, Rosemary Owino stated on Tuesday, July 21.
She added that there was a sudden interruption in the market along the value chain which led to the unplanned increase in prices.
The department, under the Ministry of Agriculture, suspects that traders took advantage of the ban on brown sugar to cause the artificial shortage, raising questions on the one week period in between the ban and the shortage.
According to government officials, the one week period is is not valid to declare a sugar shortage as traders had witnessed an influx of imports.
On Thursday, July 2, CS Munya cancelled licenses for all brown sugar importers. Munya argued that the move was necessary to protect the local industry and farmers.
“We have suspended all brown (table) sugar imports into the country with immediate effect. We have also suspended pre-shipment approvals and extension of all sugar import permits until further notice,” Munya detailed.
The measure came after Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya lamented over illegal importation of sugar in the country adding that it was undermining the local industry.