All 144 coffee factories within Murang’a County are set to get new coffee drying beds within the next eight months.
The Irungu Nyakera Foundation, in partnership with Kenya Coffee Platform has started to install the new beds in an effort to boost quality of coffee.
Former Planning Principal Secretary Irungu Nyakera said his foundation is committed to reviving the coffee sub sector saying new drying beds will ensure the quality of coffee is not compromised.
Speaking at Njora Coffee factory, in Kigumo Sub County, Nyakera observed that the existing coffee drying beds were in deplorable state making proper drying of coffee beans a challenge.
The drying beds, he said, have also made farmers end up with lesser money from their produce as the poor drying results in poor quality of coffee getting to buyers.
“When quality of coffee is compromised, the product will also fetch less price and that will negatively affect coffee farmers.
“My foundation has partnered with the Kenya Coffee Platform to install new drying beds to all 144 coffee factories within Murang’a. This will help improve the quality of coffee,” he added.
Coffee sub-sector, he noted, has been performing poorly prompting a section of farmers to abandon the cash crop.
“Production of coffee in the country has gone down by close to four times. This has been occasioned by poor management of the sub sector and low prices which forced farmers to opt for other crops,” he noted saying his foundation will continue to support farmers and revive the sector.
He said the price of coffee has started to improve, challenging the government to lower farm inputs which will lead to an increase of coffee production.
“My foundation in partnership with the coffee societies in the county will also embark on establishing nurseries to produce seedlings which will be distributed to farmers. Already we have established nurseries in eight coffee factories and soon we will be issuing high yielding coffee seedlings to local farmers,” he added.
Nyakera further underscored the contribution of his foundation in championing reforms at the tea sector which have brought hopes to thousands of small-scale tea farmers across the country.
“We want the government to bring reforms like the ones which were done in the tea sector. Our cash crops need reforms to ensure our farmers don’t work in vain,” he added.
He decried that over the years farmers have been exploited by middlemen and management of societies saying in the next government the plight of farmers should be given more attention.
Kenya Coffee Platform Murang’a chapter Chairperson Maina Mburu lauded the move to replace the deplorable coffee beds saying poor drying of coffee beans have cost farmers a lot of money.
The new coffee beds, he said, will ensure farmers fetch better prices since the quality of the production will not be compromised and the level of drying.
“Every week we will be installing two to three coffee beds in various factories. Every drying bed will have a capacity to dry more than 3, 000 kilos of coffee in every two weeks,” he added.
By Bernard Munyao