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Kenya

Nakumatt raises alarm over sugar

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 23 – Supermarkets chain Nakumatt Holdings, has implored the government to urgently step in and seek a permanent solution to what is becoming an annual cyclic sugar shortage around this time.

The shortage has been occasioned by the recent closure of leading factories for their annual maintenance and low supplies from other millers.

Nakumatt Holdings Managing Director, Atul Shah, said the store had earlier embarked on a move to protect consumers against the effects of the prevailing sugar shortage by officially limiting purchases to two packets per customer across its branch network in Kenya.

The shortage has particularly affected the factory packed 2kg and 1kg packets which are the preferred units in supermarkets.

Mr Shah explained that the rationing move will enable the firm to spread its current supplies while helping maintain retail prices at a reasonable level.

The government and sector regulator Kenya Sugar Board (KSB), Mr Shah reiterated, should also consider seeking a permanent remedy to the shortage which has now become an annual problem.

“It’s only fair that we limit current stocks before the situation gets out of hand particularly as we continue to receive below normal supplies from the millers and distributors,” he explained.

“The situation also requires urgent attention by the government and the Kenya Sugar Board among other stakeholders as the issue has become a cyclic annual problem.”

Unscrupulous traders, anticipating a biting shortage in coming weeks have been buying large stocks off supermarket shelves and reselling at grocery shops at a higher price.

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