Sugarcane agriculture was introduced in Kenya at Kibos in the early 1900s by Indian settlers who used it to manufacture jaggery. Before independence, the sugar industry in Kenya was dominated by private entrepreneurs. Later, the Ministry of Agriculture conducted field experiments on farmers’ fields in Kibos and Miwani and laboratory investigations at the National Agricultural Laboratories – Kabete, in Nairobi.
Large-scale production and processing started with the establishment of Miwani Sugar Mills in 1922, and expanded with the addition of Associated Sugar Mills at Ramisi in 1927. After independence, the Kenya Government started playing a central role in the ownership and management of the sugar industry. The Government established the following factories: Muhoroni (1966), Chemelil (1968), Mumias (1973), Nzoia (1978), South Nyanza (1979). Private investors have also built sugar factories in West Kenya (1981), Soin (2006), Kibos (2007), Butali (2011), Transmara (2011) and Sukari (2012). The latest entrant into the sugar industry is Kwale International Sugar Company Limited at Ramisi a private enterprise which started milling cane in 2015.