Panic as Kenya runs out of sugar

Most supermarkets in the city barely had sugar on the shelves

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Kenya is currently experiencing an acute sugar shortage with prices of the commodity hitting an all new record high.

A spot check across various supermarkets in the city saw Tuskys as the only retail store with sugar which was delivered in the afternoon hours.

Nakumatt and Uchumi barely had any packets of sugar on the shelves and the few available were going for Sh400 for a 2kg packet of sugar.

Solomon Odera who is the head of sugar Directorate, stated that 8,000 tonnes of sugar were imported as from Monday and are at the moment being distributed to ease the shortage.

An additional 5,000 tonnes is expected to arrive on Saturday with the possibility of bringing retail prices down from the current Sh400 per two kg packets.

Kenya usually imports about 8,000 tonnes to 15,000 tonnes of sugar monthly but has increased the volumes to 100,000 tonnes to be brought in within the next two and a half months.

Importers are allowed to ship in 300,000 tonnes of duty free sugar every year from Common Market for Eastern and Southern African (COMESA) states.

The ongoing shortage has been blamed on drought that has affected sugar growing zones since late last year.

The recent closure of Mumias and Transmara factories has also contributed the sugar shortage.

Mr.Odera remains hopeful that the situation will change and more sugar will be available by the end of this week.

“Some imports have arrived and are currently with the distributors. We expect it to get on the shelves by Friday or Saturday this week.”

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