Challenges earlier experienced by coffee farmers in Baringo County would be history with the establishment of Sh 100 million modern coffee milling plant at Katimok in Baringo North Sub-county.
Governor Stanley Kiptis revealed that the setting up and successful completion of the factory which will be milling 1.2 tonnes per hour will be operational by March next year will provide an edge in the quest to advance direct export of coffee to the Korean market.
Addressing Wananchi yesterday at Mogotio Vocational Training Centre during Jamhuri Day celebration, Governor Kiptis stated that the County Government has also undertaken to revive cooperative movements as an avenue of marketing local coffee so as to get rid of middle men who exploit farmers.
In the celebration presided over by the County Commissioner Henry Wafula and attended by among others the Mogotio Legislator, Dr Daniel Tuitoek, the Governor said the County Government was keen on securing direct export of local coffee to Korean market through the establishment of the milling plant.
Mr. Kiptis added that the County Government is putting emphasis on improvement of quality and quantity of coffee, cotton and sisal for both local and international markets.
The Governor asked coffee farmers in Baringo who had abandoned the bushes as a result of unfavorable market prices to grow the crop again.
He said that the County Government has started supplying subsidized certified coffee seedlings and agro-chemicals as a measure of reviving the growing of the cash crop and increase production.
“This has been done through improving governance of the cooperative societies by electing credible individuals in order to gain farmers confidence and enable cooperatives to channel their coffee produce to one miller for quality controls,” Kiptis stressed.
He said that his administration is keen to giving a new lease of live to agriculture and livestock development through continued improvement of production and quality as well as value addition with the aim of improving food security sustainable income for the residents.
On cotton growing, he said, the County Government has started revival of the crop that farmers had abandoned in suitable areas like Kerio Valley, Mogotio, Baringo South and Tiaty.
He said that Agriculture and Food Authority was helping his government in distributing hybrid cotton seeds in potential growing areas.
“Leveraging on the revival of Rivatex in Eldoret, the cotton ginnery at Salawa has been revived under private ownership and is buying raw cotton from farmers before it is taken to Rivatex for processing,” Kiptis underscored.
He urged local cotton farmers to take advantage of the refurbishment of the State-run Rivatex textile factory which provides ready market to produce cotton.
By Sheila Cheruiyot and Joshua Kibet