The Kenya National Coffee Platform launched on July 17, this year will have chapters in all the coffee producing counties, its chairman Karugu Macharia has said.
Macharia said such chapters will be handling all matters pertaining to the cash crop in a given county as a measure to bring sanity in the sector and safeguard farmers from exploitation.
“Anything coffee be it milling, marketing or otherwise, those seeking to provide such services will from now henceforth be required to come through the chapter in a given county, while the move is meant to safeguard the farmers from exploitation by unscrupulous traders in the sector,” he said.
Speaking during a sensitization meeting for all Kirinyaga County Coffee Cooperative Society leaders at a Kerugoya hotel yesterday, the chairman said once the farmers were fully educated on the move, the next thing will be the formation of chapters in all the coffee growing counties.
Macharia said the platform was aimed at increasing sustainable productivity of the crop by bringing together all the links of coffee supply chain to discuss and implement the initiatives.
The platform dubbed “Sauti ya Kahawa” will also police all coffee activities right from the land preparation, planting, harvesting to primary processing all the way to milling and marketing in order to achieve the mandatory sustainability of the cash crop according to the official.
He told the leaders that it was the wish of the government to see coffee farmers earning good money from the cash crop and improve their economic wellbeing hence the initiative.
The area CEC for Agriculture Jackline Njogu who was present told the leaders that she had already attended several other Platform meetings and got enlightened on its objectives which they should embrace for the good of the sector.
“In the past, a miller or a marketer would just walk to the county and take the coffee beans from the societies without any proper documentation or agreement and eventually the crop ended up getting lost without trace but the platform has now sealed off all the loopholes that have been used to exploit the farmers, through unorthodox business practices,”she said.
The leaders after sensitizing their members will then elect their chapter officials who will be representing the county at the National Platform meetings.
By Irungu Mwangi