Nyeri, Kiambu get lion’s share of Sh2.9bn coffee cherry fund

A farmer tends to her coffee in Nyeri town

A farmer tends to her coffee in Nyeri town on October 25, 2022. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Farmers from Nyeri and Kiambu counties are the biggest beneficiaries of the first tranche of Sh2.9 billion of the Sh4 billion disbursement through coffee cherry advance revolving fund.

The payout has benefitted 221,382 farmers across 24 counties.

Nyeri accounted for about 30 percent (65,252) of the farmers who received the cash from the fund, data from the New Kenya Planters Co-operative Union (KPCU) shows. The county also accounted for 18.7 percent of the funds released in the first lot, getting Sh552.3 million.

Some 6,312 farmers from Kiambu County received Sh294 million (an average of Sh46,623 per farmer), during the first payout.

Collectively, four Mt Kenya counties, which make up 44 percent of Kenya’s coffee plantations based on Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA); Kiambu, Nyeri, Embu, and Kirinyaga accounted for two-thirds of the beneficiaries, getting 51.2 percent (Sh1.5 billion) of the funds.

Details of the expenditure of the Sh2.9 billion comes a month after New KPCU, on December 22, 2023, announced the payment structure for the Sh4 billion the Cabinet approved in October 2023.

“The first disbursement to farmers will be at a rate of Sh40 per kg of cherry at the factory level,” a letter by New KPCU Managing Director Timothy Mirugi said on December 22.

He indicated that the second payment would be based on an additional Sh40 per kilogramme of cherry under parchment one, an additional Sh20 per kg under parchment two, and an additional Sh10 per kg of cherry under parchment three.

While approving the Sh4 billion for farmers on October 13, the Cabinet said that the aim was to have coffee growers earn Sh80 per kilo of cherry from the Sh20 per kilo as an advance payment. The Sh4 billion was in addition to Sh3 billion that had been released earlier.

“The government will search for better markets for farmers by inviting world-renowned coffee dealers. This will re-energise the Nairobi Coffee Exchange, which has witnessed depressed prices and low sale volumes at the auction,” the Cabinet said.