Java inks potato, coffee deal

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Restaurant chain Java House and their manufacturing arm Foodscape, have entered into a deal with farmers in Kenya to grow potatoes and coffee to supply their brands and partners.

Java House Africa Group Chief Executive Derrick Van Houten said the deal will see growers receive funding on a need basis from the company’s financial institutions and shareholder partners for the projects.

The support will also entail teaching producers on the right type of seed to grow, type of pesticides to use as well as the right time to harvest and how to manage yield. “The project has kicked off and we are rolling it out with our partners” said Derrick in an interview with the Nation yesterday. “Our role will entail helping the farmers to bring their produce into the market once it’s ready. This includes pricing, distribution among other factors.”

The project has so far brought on board around 200 farmers but the plan is to enrol more of them into self–help groups to allow for easier administration and communication.

Farmers are set to benefit from the project in coffee growing areas mainly based in Nyeri. There are already plans to cast the net wider to cover other coffee-growing counties such as Kiambu and Kirinyanga.

Potato farmers that are already targeted by the project are based in Naivasha and parts of Rift Valley such as Molo and Nakuru. “The plan is to help improve the capacity and financial model of local farmers, we also aim to provide the required potato varieties that can be sold to other brands based here in Kenya. ”