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September 23, 2018

Coffee: Kuria to back reforms

David Macharia, from Gatugi village in Othaya tends to his coffee bushes
David Macharia, from Gatugi village in Othaya tends to his coffee bushes

 

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria has been advised to shelf the Coffee Bill and instead champion reforms proposed by the task force led by Joseph Kieyah.

The task force was established by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2016 to address problems in the industry.

Nyeri Agriculture executive Henry Kinyua said the proposed changes in regulations will require a champion in Parliament, saying the Gatundu legislator is better placed.

“Moses has so far demonstrated courage in taking up coffee matters,” said Kinyua, who is also an agriculture policy and market systems development specialist. He said if the Kuria Bill is to be debated, significant revision will be needed.

The executive criticised the requirement that coffee produced in Kenya may only be distributed and exported in ‘fully processed form’. He wants the requirement to read, “Coffee produced in Kenya may only be distributed, marketed and exported in processed form as legislated in county of origin.”

Kinyua said the statement will give powers to counties to determine what level of processing they prefer to market their coffee in. The bill does not provide the definition of “fully processed form” between  beans and ground coffee. 

“There is an intermediate value addition step between grinding and roasting which would require the precision of the definition,” the executive added.

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