The Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS), Peter Munya has assured coffee farmers countrywide that the government was putting in place measures to revive the coffee industry so that farmers can reap maximum profit from their sweat.
While addressing Chairmen of 23 Coffee Societies in Kiambu County who assembled at the Governor’s office, compound on Monday, Munya said the government was currently mapping out all the coffee societies in the country affiliated to the new Kenya Coffee Planters Cooperative Union to give them a new lease of life.
The CS regretted that Kenyan coffee was an important crop that put the country on the world map owing to its quality but because of poor management and marketing, many farmers were not drawing their rightful earnings.
“As a result, many farmers gave up on the crop with some uprooting it preferring to engage in real estate. I take this opportunity to assure the farmers that the government is putting incentives into coffee farming and the farmers will choose how to sell their coffee. They will choose who to sell the coffee to and how much they want to sell their produce,” he told the meeting.
The CS said the strides that the government was putting into the coffee industry formed part of the recommendations made by the coffee taskforce that was appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta in tackling challenges like marketing, production and quality of coffee.
He regretted that some millers only wanted to buy the best crop, leaving the farmer with the other lower grade of the crop which was not fair as the farmer needed to sell everything after harvesting from their farms.
He announced that the new KPCU had reopened milling plants in Machakos, Magana and Dandora areas with a view of offering coffee farmers’ value for their crop as most of them had confidence that it was doing well on the local and international markets.
In his address, Governor James Nyoro pleaded with the CS to intervene through his office to have the Sh.440 million owed by coffee farmers in the country written off by the government so they start on a clean sheet.
By Lydia Shiloya