REVIVING FARMING

Nyoro boosts Kiambu farmers with Sh50 million inputs

The county government has set aside Sh100 million for a coffee milling plant.

In Summary
  • Fertiliser disbursement programme started when he assumed office in January 2020.
  • The county chief reiterated that plans to put up a milling plant for coffee farmers in the county are in top gear.
Farmer Samuel Kariuki at his coffee farm in Karuri village, Gatundu North.
Farmer Samuel Kariuki at his coffee farm in Karuri village, Gatundu North.
Image: John Kamau

Coffee farmers in Kiambu will receive farm inputs including fertiliser from the county government.

Kiambu Governor James Nyoro said the county government has set aside Sh50 million to procure fertiliser for farmers in a bid to boost production.

The governor, who spoke in Ruiru town on Tuesday, noted that the fertiliser disbursement programme started when he assumed office in January 2020. It is one of the deliberate approaches his administration took to revive the ailing coffee sector.

“We are determined to increase the county’s coffee production while adhering to high quality of the cherries to enable them fetch better prices in the market. This is why we are distributing essential farm inputs to our farmers,” he said.

Nyoro said that farmers were abandoning coffee farming due to high cost of farm inputs among them fertiliser, lack of proper and competitive markets and infiltration of the sector by cartels who have been enriching themselves with the farmers’ hard toiled produce.

He lamented that despite coffee being one of Kenya’s top foreign income earners, most farmers have been languishing in poverty despite toiling and moiling hard in their coffee farms only to reap low returns in a year.

Nyoro, an Agricultural Economist, said that his administration is determined to revive the coffee sector and make it lucrative for farmers in Kiambu.

“Coffee has been one of the top foreign income earners in the country for decades and it is one of the commodities that have made Kiambu what it is now."

"But the value for coffee has significantly declined due to a myriad of problems. We are keen to solve the problems and restore the sector’s lost glory,” he said.

The county chief reiterated that plans to put up a milling plant for coffee farmers in the county are in top gear adding that the County government is seeking better markets in order to boost the sector and improve the farmers’ living standards.

He divulged that the county government has set aside Sh100 million to put up a coffee milling plant in Kiambu which he termed as a huge milestone towards rehabilitating the coffee sector in Kiambu.

“We want to reach a point where we are milling and marketing our own coffee with an assurance of high returns to our farmers,” Nyoro said.

The governor also said that his administration will fast track  rehabilitation of processing units within the county noting that most factories in the region are in deplorable state.

Farmers who spoke to the Star lauded the Kiambu county government initiative, saying that the farm inputs will go a long way in boosting their production.

Farmer Samuel Kariuki, who tends some 500 coffee trees at his farm in Karuri village in Gatundu North subcounty, said that their coffee has started fetching better prices due to availability of farm inputs as well as extension services from agriculture officers in the county.

Kariuki, a member of Igegania Multipurpose Co-operative Society, noted that this year their coffee fetched Sh67 per kilo.