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Sacco wants challenges in the coffee sector resolved

A Murang’a sacco has appealed to the government to streamline and remove challenges that have been hindering the smooth marketing of coffee.

Management of Amica Sacco, which has a big membership of coffee, has expressed fears over unsold coffee hoarded in coffee mills.

Amica Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. James Mbui, has observed that the problems facing the sale of coffee are putting the farmers and financial institutions that support them in a precarious situation.

Speaking during a special annual general meeting held in Murang’a on Wednesday, Mbui said their members who venture into coffee farming are currently facing financial constraints caused by unsold coffee.

“Coffee farmers are the backbone of Amica Sacco, and I can say we are staring at a time that is very uncertain, and we don’t know what will happen by the end of this year because the majority of societies are yet to sell their coffee.

“The management of some societies have started to borrow money in anticipation of selling their coffee early next year. The uncertainty affects the businesses of institutions which are relied on by farmers,” explained Mbui.

He continued, “We hope the government will resolve this issue very fast so that farmers and the economy at large are not affected.”

The delay in the sale of coffee has been occasioned by the implementation of new regulations that direct players in the coffee value chain to stick to their roles.

Some coffee societies are also still holding farmers’ coffee as they avoid selling their produce to licensed marketers, fearing poor prices.

Mbui noted Amica Sacco serves more than 50, 000 coffee farmers from Murang’a County, saying without income from the produce, their members will be pushed into an uncertain financial situation.

The CEO further said the current economic situation has also affected member savings in financial institutions.

“Recent increases in food and fuel prices have intensified the cost of living for the majority of Kenyans. This has increased business costs and reduced our members’ disposable income, adversely affecting their ability to save and service their loans,” remarked Mbui.

The Sacco, he observed, has employed various strategies, like the utilisation of digital services, so as to help members improve their livelihoods.

Mbui further said that in 2024, Sacco plans to raise revenue of Sh. 1.35 billion against expenditures of Sh. 1.05 billion.

“We are hoping 2024 will be a favourable year as compared to 2022 and 2023, and the key drivers for next year’s budget are loan management, growth in membership, digitization, and cost management,” noted the CEO.

By Bernard Munyao

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