• The new market will see the growers earn better income from their produce and get paid promptly.
• Crowd Farm Africa Limited CEO Samuel Wachieni said the company will be buying natural coffee starting with 50,000 kilos of Coffee from Ruui Ruiru coffee factory.
MATHIRA farmers in Nyeri County have a reason to smile after getting a new “lucrative” market for their coffee.
The new market will see the growers earn better income from their produce and get paid promptly.
Crowd Farm Africa Limited CEO Samuel Wachieni said on Thursday that the company will be buying natural coffee starting with 50,000 kilos of Coffee from Ruui Ruiru coffee factory.
The company will be collaborating with an America based coffee buying company called Jamii Coffee to buy coffee from Kenyan farmers for export.
Natural coffee does not go through pulping or washing but is instead sundried before being processed.
“We decided to go for natural coffee from Ruui Ruiru because we realized that their pulping machines are no longer functional after the factory was shut down,” he said.
The factory is among the five factories that were under the collapsed Mathira North Cooperative Society.
The others are Kahira-ini, Kiamariga, Hiriga and Kabiru-ini which split from the giant Mathira North Cooperative Society but halted operations as they could not cater for their own operation expenses independently.
Farmer, consequently, turned into coffee hawking where they sold their coffee to hawkers at a throwaway price of Sh 15 per kilo.
“But we have found market for natural coffee in America where a kilo of coffee will be paid to the farmer at Sh 70 a kilo with the farmer getting Sh 65 earning from the sale,” Wachieni said.
The company will also buy coffee from the rest of the factories in future.
Wachieni said this will be economical to farmers as natural coffee will not need water for pulping or electricity but the farmer will only need to pick ripe coffee cherry, have it sun-dried and sold.
Crowd Farm Africa, which was established in 2015 and based in Meru County is an agricultural advisory and soft commodities sourcing and trading company that seeks to increase productivity among African farmers and connect them with international markets.
KPCU chairman Henry Kinyua said the new market will come in handy in the revival of many factories that have collapsed in Nyeri County.
He said the government is exploring such ways among others that will help farmers earn better, increase their production as well as revive collapsed coffee factories.
Farmers, Kinyua said, will only need to harvest their ripe coffee cherry have it dried and sold for further processing cutting their factories’ operation cost.
“The advantage of natural coffee is that it will not need water for pulping and so this will reduce use of water and electricity in factories thus cutting cost of production which will translate to more earnings for farmers,” he said.
The money he said will be paid directly to the farmers’ bank accounts or M-Pesa.
Ruguru MCA Erastus Karanja said Mathira North Cooperative Society collapsed over five years ago, the five coffee factories affiliated to it closed down and all employees laid off.
But the move he said will help revive coffee farming in the area after KPCU facilitated the signing of an MoU between the factories and the company.
“The company will now be buying farmers’ coffee at Sh70 per kilo with Sh 5 going to the running of the factories while the rest (Sh 65) will paid out to farmers through their bank accounts or via M-Pesa,” he said.
Area farmers said the society split after coffee production dwindled and some factories were unable to cater for the cost of running their factories which led to accumulation of debts due to over borrowing by factories management.
The factories split and turned into coffee hawking leading to the closure of the factories.
Many farmers stopped tending to their coffee while others uprooted the bushes altogether.
However those who retained their coffee and continued tending to them are forced to take it to Other factories kilometers away.