Kenya will import 40 000 tons of sugar from Zambia, says Finance Minister Felix Mutati.
This deal follows a recent trade mission by Mutati and Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya to the East African country.
Mutati said the mission will facilitate the export of sugar – along with 100 000 tons of maize – Kenya will import from Zambia.
“Plans to export the two commodities to Kenya are advanced and it is our desire to see trade impediments between the two countries eliminated,” he said.
Zambian sugar exports to the European Union (EU) have dropped by 74% because of poor market conditions. This prompted Zambia Sugar, the main producer, to look at regional markets where prices are expected to remain above international levels.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are among the targeted regional markets.
Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) said the country’s sugar imports are expected to stretch beyond the normal level of 200 000 tons.
According to AFA, this year’s sugar imports will be as high as 300 000 tons.
It comes after a recent decision by the Kenyan government to allow duty-free sugar imports to cushion consumers against high prices.
Kenyan media reports that the price for sugar dramatically increased, with retail outlets selling it at US$2 per kilo.
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