Farmers delivering their coffee to the new Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU) will be the first to benefit from the Cherry Advance Fund.
Agriculture Cabinet secretary Peter Munya said currently more than 5, 000 farmers are delivering their coffee at KPCU mills in Dandora, Nairobi.
The mills which remained unused for long time, Munya said are now busy milling coffee which has been delivered.
He said the cherry fund will first be advanced to farmers allied to new KPCU as their payment is guaranteed.
Munya said majority of coffee farmers delivering their cherries to KPCU are from Kiambu, Murang’a and Nyeri counties.
Speaking in Murang’a on Friday, Munya noted that public participation on the cherry advance fund is complete and from this week farmers will be able to get the money.
“Public participation on cherry fund is complete and gazettement will be done immediately and farmers start getting the money from this week,” added the CS.
In the current financial year, the government allocated Sh. 3 billion to advance to farmers at 40 percent of the value of coffee they have delivered to mills.
The advanced money, Munya said will help farmers before they can get their payment for coffee delivered.
He further observed that the government has allocated Sh. 50 million to coffee cooperatives who were owed by KPCU.
“The government will pay debts of the KPCU owed to farmers. The process to pay the debts is almost complete and farmers who for long waited for payment will get a relief soon,” he added.
Munya was accompanied by Cabinet secretaries including Dr. Fred Matiang`i (interior), Joe Mucheru (ICT) and James Macharia (Transport) as they toured several development projects in Murang’a.
Among the projects toured included Nginda Irrigation scheme in Maragua which is funded to the tune of Sh. 217 million.
Munya said many irrigation projects the government is implementing in various parts of the country are earmarked to boost food security.
Meanwhile Munya has warned milk cooperatives allied to Kenya Cooperative Creamaries (KCC) not to deduct more than Sh. 2 for milk delivered.
He said no farmer should earn less than Sh. 32 per litre of milk delivered to cooperative societies, asking relevant government officials not to allow officials of cooperatives to exploit farmers by levying unnecessary costs to farmers.
“For any administration costs should not be levied to more than two shillings. The government may announce better prices for coffee but with increased administration costs, farmers are left with meager payments,” added Munya.
By Bernard Munyao