Sunday, May 19, 2024
Home > Agriculture > Embu Coffee Co-operatives Receive Sh76 million

Embu Coffee Co-operatives Receive Sh76 million

Farmers from four coffee co-operative societies in Embu on Wednesday got a shot in the arm after receiving Sh75.9 million from the World Bank-funded National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARGP) to increase production and earnings.

According to Governor Ms. Cecily Mbarire, the financial support is aimed at improving existing infrastructure at the factory level through the installation of modern eco-pulping machines, metallic drying beds, sorting sheds, CCTV security cameras and alarm systems.

Speaking on Wednesday when disbursing the cheques to Murue, Thambana, Kiangangwa and Kibugu Co-operative Societies, Mbarire said the funds will also go a long way in enabling farmers to acquire essential farm inputs that will undoubtedly contribute to increased productivity and profitability.

She particularly called on factory managements to ensure all the factories are installed with surveillance cameras and alarm systems to enhance security measures at a time when two cases of coffee theft had been reported in the last month.

On Monday night, 30 bags of coffee beans worth Sh1.5 million were stolen from Ena New Runyenjes Cooperative Society while 50 bags worth Sh3 million were stolen from Gacugu Factory in Embu West Sub-county in early July.

Following the Gacugu incident, County Commissioner Mr. Jack Obuo announced a raft of measures to curb theft including providing all the factories with armed police officers as well as escorting coffee on transit to the market.

The Governor said her administration was committed to empowering farmers and making coffee farming a profitable venture as it used to be decades ago before the invasion by cartels.

“We must emancipate our farmers from the grip and exploitation by unscrupulous millers and marketers to ensure they get value for their labor,” she said.

She also said she will be pushing for the restoration of the County Mill constructed close to a decade ago at Kavutiri aimed at consolidating milling and marketing of all Embu coffee to multiply farmers’ earnings through value addition.

The plant has been dogged by a huge debt of Sh90 million obtained eight years ago for the construction that has since then accumulated to Sh172 million as a result of penalties for defaulting on repayment.

She said she would ask the government to give them a waiver so that they can be able to start afresh and have the mill bounce back into operation.

By Samuel Waititu

Leave a Reply