New coffee regulations set to streamline sector

Coffee tree. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Coffee farmers are a happy lot after the government’s intervention to streamline the sector that has been clouded by corruption and inefficiency over the years.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS) Peter Munya while addressing farmers in Nyamira County recently said that it was high time they realized the value for their hard work in the farms.

Among the regulations which the ministry has proposed is the provision of the cherry advance fund. This will ensure that coffee farmers access loans at a small interest rate of 3% processed through the New Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU).

The cherry advance fund was set as ide by the President to offer soft loans to farmers and also cushion them from unscrupulous millers.

Munya also said that henceforth, the New KPCU will be responsible for milling and selling of the coffee on behalf of the farmers.

“I want to assure you (farmers) that once your coffee has been taken to KPCU that it will be milled to the best qualities and admirable sales made and handsome payment made to you.

Whenever your coffee societies deliver to New KPCU, there must be a representative from among you to ensure that there is transparency through to milling and grading to sales. No miller will loan a farmer,” said Munya.

The CS also said that the Coffee Board of Kenya and Coffee Research Foundation will be revived to control the sale of Coffee and also to come up with disease resistant coffee species.

Society directors in the new regulations will be eligible for election for a maximum two terms of three years each.

Munya decried the overstaying of the directors for a long time who he noted were the cause of farmer’s woes.

Five months ago, the CS visited Nyamira County where he met tea growers in drafting regulations that could see the farmers benefit from their crop.

The government wants to reposes the tea sector which has for some time been under the farmers’ agency.

 Nyamira is among the top tea growing zones in Kenya.

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