Why sugarcane farming in Western Kenya is on the decline

why sugarcane in Western Kenya is on the decline
sugarcane in Western Kenya

Sugarcane farming in western Kenya

Western region of Kenya is known for their love of farming. Poultry farming, maize, sweet potato, and sugarcane farming are all practiced in Western Kenya. While maize, sweet potato, and maize products provide farmers and the locals with good nutrients, sugarcane production only pulls them towards poverty. This article presents the reasons sugarcane farming in Western Kenya is on the decline.

Sugarcane farmers in Western Kenya are very hardworking. They deserve more than the oppression and exploitation they continuously receive on the farm. Actually, their commitment to sugarcane farming is one of the main pillars of economic stability in Kenya.

Mismanagement in the industry is causing more harm than good to the cane farmers. Farmers experience problems such as delays in payments.

Reasons for declining sugarcane farming in Western Kenya

High poverty levels

Instead of making lives better, sugarcane production only impoverishes people from the Western region. Sugarcane farmers are very committed to their work and they deserve appreciation.

Farmers don’t adequately enjoy the fruits of their labor. The cane farming does nothing other than impoverishing the farmers who try to mak a good cash of out it.

Because farmers work so hard on cane farms and get less pay, most of them are shifting from sugarcane production to growing some  other crops like sweet potatoes and maize.

Cane production in the West proved to be a great loss to most cane farmers in  the Western region of Kenya. Most of the farmers are facing financial constraints since they are not paid well and on time.

In order to survive, cane farmers have to find other alternatives of financial sources to sustain themselves and their families.

Decrease in space for sugarcane plantation

Decrease in an area previously covered by sugarcane is because the land was used to grow other crops.

Because farmers realised they lost much than they received from cane farming, they shifted the focus to sweet potato farming. This left no space for sugar cane as the previous sugarcane plantation areas were covered with sweet potato and other crops.

Decline in sugar yield

In 2017, there was a prolonged drought that was unfavorable for the growth of sugarcane. This affected the output of sugarcane.

According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the drought led to immature harvesting of sugarcane in 2018.

This resulted in serious drop in sugar yield, a decline which was never recovered. Because of this, sugarcane production is continuously on the decline.

Decline in sugar yield led to increasing sugar imports into the country.  This is an indication that sugarcane production is surely on the decline.


Western Kenya was the highest sugar producer and it was supporting many families financially. The families met their financial obligations through sugar farming.

Because sugar industry in Kenya is failing, many farmers are rapidly abandoning sugar for other crops. There are almost no hopes for sugarcane recovery in the Western Kenya. Failure of Sugar industry to maintain itself is why sugarcane farming in Western Kenya is on the decline.