The Nakuru County Government is keen on the transformation of the coffee industry by unlocking its full economic potential for the benefit of the residents and creating jobs for the numerous unemployed youths.
Cooperatives Chief Officer Mr Kibet Kurgat said this can be achieved through partnering with stakeholders in the sector who will help the County in identifying the areas of focus to help the sector grow.
Mr Kurgat was speaking today during a meeting with members of the Bahati Specialty Coffee Growers Cooperative Society (BSCGCS) who paid him a courtesy call led by George Talaam, MCA Subukia ward. The society highlighted measures to effectively utilize the sector, among them the need to fully equip the processing factories in three sub-counties of Rongai, Subukia, and Bahati.
Mr Samwel Nene the chairman of BSCGCS urged the county to assist them in capacity building, marketing, and training of the farmers to embrace new farming practices to mitigate the drastic climate changes that harm coffee production.
Nene commended the county administration for their commitment to reviving the once robust coffee industry in the county that paid school fees for the farmers’ children and ensured that families attained financial dignity. He added that the membership of BSCGCS consists of farmers with various sizes of coffee farms ranging from quarter to five acres.
Kurgat assured the farmers that despite the dwindling production of the coffee crop in the county occasioned by mismanagement and unexploited potential in the sub-sector, demand for Kenya’s coffee on the global market remained high.
Statistics from the devolved unit’s Department of Agriculture confirm that over 2,686 acres in the county are under the crop with small-scale farmers owning 666 acres and the rest being in the hands of large estates.
The Chief Officer stated that the county has a huge untapped potential to grow Arabica Coffee, which is said to be highly popular in the domestic and international markets. Additionally, the subsector has the potential to expand and create job opportunities since Arabica coffee has the perspective of selling at Sh.1000 (6.52 dollars) per kilogram due to its high quality and popular aroma.
By Veronica Bosibori