DYING CROP

Raise coffee fund to Sh4 billion, Kigumo MP urges state

Says Sh3 billion in this year's budget is too little to have a big impact on production

In Summary
  • MP says coffee contributed greatly to the economy when it was doing well and deserves support
  • Money from the fund will be loaned to farmers at three per cent interest rate
Kigumo MP Ruth Mwaniki in Kigumo town during the opening of a new branch of Amica Sacco on Saturday, November 9, 2019
CALL: Kigumo MP Ruth Mwaniki in Kigumo town during the opening of a new branch of Amica Sacco on Saturday, November 9, 2019
Image: ALICE WAITHERA

The government has been asked to increase the Coffee Cherry Revolving Fund to boost the crop.

Kigumo  MP Ruth Mwaniki said the Sh3 billion in this year's budget is too little to have a big impact in coffee production.

The MP said coffee contributed greatly to the economy when it was doing well and deserves support to get back on its feet.

 

"The fund is insufficient and considering how coffee supported the economy in the past, the government should increase it to Sh4 billion in next year's budget," she said.

The MP spoke in Kigumo town during the official opening of a new branch of Amica Sacco on Saturday.

The MP coffee sector gave rise to many financial institutions due to the huge amounts of money it raked in for farmers.

But when the sector collapsed, farmers did not receive adequate support and have been struggling ever since.

Mwaniki also appealed to the government to hasten the release of the fund to ensure its impact is felt as fast as possible.

"I'm asking Trade Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya to have the funds released as soon as possible since they were factored in the budget," she said.

She also the government to ensure the money is channeled directly to farmers.

 

The money will be loaned to farmers at an interest of three per cent per annum to help increase coffee production.

Mwaniki said the government has a record of all farmers and their bank accounts.

"I am totally opposed to those saying that some of the money should go towards enhancing coffee consumption. Let the money go straight to the farmer to increase production," Mwaniki said.

Amica Sacco CEO James Mbui said the sacco is working with tea farmers to help them repay their loans following the reduced annual bonus payments this year.

Mbui said the sacco was ready to reschedule farmers' loans and work out a new repayment schedule.

"We are asking farmers not to panic and run. Let them visit our offices and we will work the situation out together because it has happened before and will possibly not be the last," he said.