A mini machine for coffee value addition has been launched by the Kirinyaga County Government in an effort to boost farmers’ income.
The multitasking machine will mill, roast and brew ready-to-drink coffee, a move that is meant to promote and increase local consumption of the beverage.
While launching the machine at Riakiania market in Kirinyaga West Sub-County, Governor Anne Mumbi said dependency on export of coffee without increasing domestic consumption only left farmers suffering.
“When the export market does poorly, the farmers keep blaming their respective coffee cooperative societies, when in fact consumption of the beverage should be encouraged to cushion the bad days,” she said.
She also donated some 6000 macadamia nut and avocado seedlings to the farmers which will form an integral component of their coffee sector.
“By integrating coffee with macadamia, avocado and coffee, the farmer is guaranteed of a steady income from the three crops regardless of the unreliable world market,” Mumbi told the farmers.
She said the hass avocado variety whose seedlings she donated was an ideal crop due to its early maturing period of three years, high yielding capacity and high demand at the world market.
Mumbi also said the county through the Wezesha programme is preparing to put up a Sh. 200 million milk processing plant.
She said the money has been provided by some investors and not government funded.
“Already we have instructed our extension officers to make sure they upgrade cows thorough improved AI services,” she said.
The governor said under the same project, Milk coolers will be provided where the county government will engage Boda Boda operators in gathering the milk and deliver to the coolers.
From the coolers, it will be the role of Kirinyaga Investment Development Authority to deliver the milk to the processing plant,” she said.
The governor said the project to support women and youth groups with chicken is also on course and has only been temporary halted to enable the beneficiaries come up with a standard chicken house structure.
She said the county will give 40,000 chicken to various groups who will also be provided with six months of free feed. The County, Mumbi said, will also provide markets for the eggs.
“If I don’t succeed in this projects, I will not come seeking for reelection as your governor come 2022,” she said.
The machine has a packaging facility while the commodity so milled will be branded as Kirinyaga premium coffee and was later handed over to the management committee for the Mwerua Coffee Cooperative Society.
The society chairman, Geoffrey Munyagia said the equipment had been donated at the right time when farmers were being trained on the value addition of their crop.
“We have been urging our farmers to ensure they consumed their own coffee which will still earn their society money instead of over reliance on the export market which is unreliable due to the many international forces,” Munyagia said.
By Irungu Mwangi