CUT OFF COFFEE CARTELS

Ministry set to revive coffee factories, cut off cartels - Munya

The CS says the government has rolled out intervention measures of reviving Kenya Planters Cooperative Union coffee millers will revive and digitize the factories.

In Summary

• The interventions will lower costs of production and revive sectors monopolized and controlled by cartels including tea, coffee and milk.

• Munya said the government is launching e-vouchers to give smallholders discounts of up to 60 per cent on fertiliser and agrochemicals.

The Ministry of Agriculture has announced that it has rolled out raft measures to tackle challenges in the coffee sector in a bid to cushion farmers from losses and refurbish coffee factories.

Speaking in Machakos, the Agriculture livestock, Fisheries and Cooperative Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said the measures are targeting to cut off the cartels who are stealing from coffee farmers and also to increase farmer’s earnings.

He said the interventions will lower costs of production and revive sectors monopolized and controlled by cartels including tea, coffee and milk.

 
 

Munya said his ministry is keen on turning around farmers’ fortunes to boost the sector.

“Farmers will get 40 per cent of the value of the coffee they deliver. We are also pursuing better foreign markets,” he said.

However, the Agriculture CS said the ministry is in the process of reviving all Kenya Planters Cooperative Union coffee millers and ensure they all have modern machines for them to work efficiently.

He said the new KPCU will wind off fraudsters and intermediaries who stole from farmers by altering and adjusting the weighing machines adding the government will install new digital weighing machines to avoid such losses.

“Ongoing reforms in coffee will continue,” the CS told farmers.

Addressing coffee farmers in Machakos, Munya said the government is launching e-vouchers to give smallholders discounts of up to 60 per cent on fertilizer and agro-chemicals, as part of a Sh53.7 billion economic stimulus package program designed to help the country through the current COVID-19 crisis.

The CS said the programme will be implemented in the spirit of implementing the recommendations of the coffee task force that was appointed by the President to tackle challenges like marketing and the quality of coffee.

 

“The programme shall include increasing coffee production and productivity, improving the efficiency of farmer cooperatives societies, supporting research development and technology dissemination, supporting the development of alternative coffee markets and project coordination” he added.

Munya was addressing coffee farmers at the Machakos People’s Park where he stated that there is a need to change the current marketing model as it has not worked.

“We must change tact to have a successful model. The current one is not working and we will engage all stakeholders including Governors to get their input on this,” he said.

The CS disclosed that President Uhuru Kenyatta tasked him to implement the reforms recommended by a task-force and not his own to benefit farmers and urged politicians to desist from politicizing the measures.

He noted that the 5 billion World Bank funds for coffee revitalization programme will be implemented in eight counties including Machakos, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Murang’a, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Embu and Kiambu to increase coffee production.

He told farmers to purchase chemicals and subsidized fertilizer at the national trading corporation.

He said the government has established Sh.3 billion Coffee Cherry Advance Revolving Funds to provide an affordable, sustainable and accessible cherry advance to smallholder farmers.

"Farmers who deliver their produce at new KPCU will be given forms to fill so that they benefit from the funds at three per cent interest rate and I advice them to fill them for the next two weeks if possible," Munya said.