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Coffee factories threaten to pull out from a cooperative society

Farmers delivering their coffee to Gakiri cooperative society in Kigumo, Murang’a Sub County have threatened to delink themselves from the society unless committee members are ejected.
New Ilate, Kagurumaye, Kanjathi, Gatumbi and Wanguya farmers have accused the members of mismanagement, non-inclusivity and poor marketing strategies of their coffee.
Speaking after holding a peaceful demonstration at the Kigumo Sub County commissioner’s office Thursday, the farmers demanded the society to be allowed to hold an AGM with a view to ousting the members or they completely disassociate from the society.
They threatened to let their coffee rot in the farms rather than allow the society to market cherries to millers.
“The four have been in office for 13 years. During that time, we have had constant coffee theft, low and delayed payment. When we plan to have an AGM, they block,” said Peter Ndung’u, one of the farmers.
Millicent Wanjiru, another farmer said they would consider selling their coffee to brokers or millers who paid well.
She said the sector had become less-lucrative compared to former years adding that some farmers had uprooted the crop to plant better earning ones.
“Coffee is our livelihood and we won’t allow few individuals to destroy the sector as it has been over the years. It pays too little that it has become difficult for us to educate our children or support our families,” she said.
The farmers called for an audit to be done on the committee members and anyone found to have misappropriated funds to be prosecuted, and any stolen property recovered.
“If an AGM is not organized soon, the society will collapse and our coffee will lose value and market. We need to have an organized and streamlined marketing structure to be able to get better returns,” said Patrick Mwangi, another farmer.
Kigumo Sub County cooperatives officer Moses Mwangi said they have received complaints from the farmers on numerous occasions and have instructed the society to hold its AGM before mid-December.
He said the county government would not allow societies to be run down by people with selfish agenda.
By Muoki Charles

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