The Agriculture and Food Authority is blaming traders for the biting shortage of sugar in the country.
Besides drought which affected cane production in the country, the authority says wholesalers and distributors have been holding sugar affecting the market.
“Distributors and wholesalers holding sugar should release the stocks into the market immediately,” said Alfred Busolo, Interim Director General for the Agriculture and Food Authority.
He said the government has enhanced imports and in the next 2-3 weeks, State will receive 40,000MT of sugar from COMESA countries. A further consignment of 60,000MT is expected in the next two months to address the shortage.
He further said that local mills will also receive all the cane that is ready for harvesting within the milling zones for processing so as to increase sugar stocks. “The millers will also release all the stocks they are currently holding into the market.”
Nairobi residents grappled with sugar shortage this week
Many were left a disappointed lot after coming to the realization that they could not buy sugar at their supermarket of choice amid the labour festivities.
Supermarkets within the central business district were experiencing an unexplained shortage with some establishments having to turn away customers seeking the commodity away.
At the Nakumatt Lifestyle Supermarket, there was no sugar available for the better part of the weekend which forced the management to stock other commodities at the lots normally dedicated for sugar.
“Of late there hasn’t been any sugar supply and we have been forced to operate without the commodity which is highly sought after. The demand is higher than the supply and that is why we ran out of stock,” said one of the attendants.
The situation was replicated at the Uchumi supermarket located along Monrovia Street where shoppers were had to do with sugar. Despite packets of flour, salt and rice which are also equally sought after household commodities being visible, sugar was nowhere to be found.
However, the now scarce commodity was available at the Tuskys supermarket opposite city market. The only available sugar brand was Kabras sugar in quantities of one and two kilogram packets.
One kilogram packets were retailing for Sh165 while two kilogram packets were retailing at Sh315. At the Tuskys located along Kenyatta Avenue, customers had to settle for either ‘Kabras’ or ‘Mara’ sugar which were also available in one and two kilogram packets.