Kenya Railways has partnered with Nzoia Sugar Company for the purposes of transportation of Sugar and other related products from Bungoma to Nairobi (KNTC Go-downs) and back.
Kenya Railways Managing Director Phillip Mainga said that signing the Rail Haulage contract for Nzoia’s sugar from its plant in Bungoma to Nairobi as well as the back-haul of cargo back to the factory was a great milestone for the Corporation, signalling a good come back for rail operations within the western region.
“We are honoured to play our role in creating an integrated transport service for the sugar sector and we will be targeting to move a minimum of 1,600 tonnages on a monthly basis” he said.
Speaking at the signing off Ceremony, Nzoia Sugar Company CEO, CPA Cde Wanajala MAKOKHA stated that this Partnership would position the Company strategically to conquer the Nairobi branded sugar Market and ultimately lead to an increase in the Company’s market share.
“We produce our sugar from very high quality cane with very high sucrose content which is a source of the unique sweet natural flavor distinct in our product. We now want people to experience the true taste of our sweet natural cane sugar as they get value for their money”. added Mr. Makokha.
Mr. Mainga also noted that future plans are in place to expand the rail-age of the product to the Coastal region amongst other regions, with a target of becoming an exporter of sugar while using the MGR and SGR rail networks.
“These plans are in line with the Big Four agenda by supporting the expansion of Manufacturing in the agro-processing sub-sector in which the sugar sector falls under with Kenya Railways acting as an enabler to this development. This will consequently grow the economy by ensuring that Kenyans, especially farmers, get employment and raise their living conditions”
He said. This partnership comes at the back of heavy investment by the Government in the Rail sector countrywide in the last few years.
Reforms in the sugar sector by the Government based on the Crops General regulations 2020 gazetted in May 2020 by the CS Agriculture will also result in a free market for sugar.
The sugar industry has been in the past plagued by high costs of production, obsolete technology, huge debt portfolio and poor management.
This is bound to change in part due to the improved infrastructure in the Rail sector.