Sugarcane Farmers want Government to Follow the Law in Forming Regulations

Sugarcane farmers have put the proposed 2018 sugar regulations
before the Parliamentary Committee on Delegated Legislation to rule on the regulations’ failure
to follow the law with rules that achieve the best results as proven by obligatory impact
assessments.
The farmers report that the heavily bureaucratic regime proposed, which demands selling of
cane to only one, designated mill with no free market and introduces new controls over seeds
and prices – will be a final act of destruction for the industry.
“This is an industry still employing 250,000 farmers, and providing livelihoods for up to 6 million
Kenyans, and yet we have been presented with regulations that will damage the industry
beyond repair, and which have not even been subjected to the obligatory tests or rationale for
their introduction,” said Hon Saulo Busolo, Chairman of SUCAM, the Sugar Campaign for
Change.
The farmers argue that the regulations need to be moved back to due process and undergo the
mandatory level of analysis. This legally proscribed route is laid out in the Statutory Instruments
Act that was enacted in 2013 to ensure new legislation is properly tested and does not wreak
widespread damage.
“We have a clear and strong methodology in place to ensure that the government achieves
positive and enhancing legislation for the nation. There is no reason or exception that means
that suddenly 6 million Kenyans don’t count enough to be honored with basic legality from the
government in regulating agriculture,” said the chairman.
Kenya’s sugar industry accounts for 15 per cent of agricultural GDP. However, the Ministry of
Agriculture did not carry out the required cost benefit analysis on the proposed industry
regime, or provide any alternative routes of comparisons, which is also a legal requirement.
This is despite the fact that the regulations propose zoning, which has without exception been
damaging to sugar industries elsewhere in the world, and has now been comprehensively
abandoned.
“In Australia, sugarcane production fell by nearly 3 per cent a year for five years under zoning,
but rose by more than 13 per cent a year for the five years after zoning was lifted. There has
been nowhere where zoning did not drive farmers out of sugar: it quite simply has the air of a
deliberate move to create sugar shortages and move Kenya to imported sugar,” said the
chairman.

SUCAM’s own cost / benefit analysis of different policy routes has found that a free market
would deliver more than four times the gains for the industry and cut the cost to taxpayers to
one eighth of the spend triggered by the new regulations.
“These are extremely costly regulations that will require large numbers of civil servants that
taxpayers must fund to deliver only a fraction of the benefits of a free market,” said Michael
Arum, SUCAM coordinator
“This, thus, goes beyond a technical matter of failing to follow due process – although that,
alone, is important. The result of failing to implement Kenyan law in formulating these
particular regulations is set to hurt taxpayers and materially damage the fortunes

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