Millers back coffee team’s radical plans

A coffee factory employee transports boxes of roasted an packed coffee in Nairobi. A section of farmers and a member of the taskforce on coffee reforms have welcomed radical proposals proposed by the team to reform the multi billion shillings sector. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Embu and Ukambani farmers supported the recommendations of the Task force on Coffee Sub-sector Reforms saying its implementation will help boost earnings and crop production.
  • Mr Kirai, who is also the secretary of the Meru Coffee Millers , said they had collected views from farmers across the country and their report was inclusive.
  • Mr Mbaabu said farmers had never fully benefited from the opening of the second window that was aimed at helping them sell coffee directly.

Some farmers and a member of the taskforce on coffee reforms have welcomed radical proposals proposed by the team to reform the multi billion shillings sector.

The Embu and Ukambani farmers supported the recommendations of the Task force on Coffee Sub-sector Reforms saying its implementation will help boost earnings and crop production.

Farmers in Nyeri and Kiambu have opposed some of the measures recommended by the team. But yesterday, the millers and farmers appealed to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett to hold a nationwide grassroots sensitisation campaign to explain benefits of the proposals so as to convince those opposed to it.

Led by Mr Adrian Kirai, who was a member of the taskforce, the coffee officials from major cooperative societies in the coffee rich region said those opposed to the new rules could be acting out of ignorance.

Mr Kirai, who is also the secretary of the Meru Coffee Millers , said they had collected views from farmers across the country and their report was inclusive.

ELIMINATE CARTELS, BOOST EARNINGS

Meru Coffee Millers chairman Zablon Mbaabu said the recommendations would eliminate cartels and boost earnings.

He said farmers would now be free to sell their coffee to the highest bidder, since the requirement that they must deposit Sh1billion to be allowed to directly sell their beans has been scrapped.

Mr Mbaabu said farmers had never fully benefited from the opening of the second window that was aimed at helping them sell coffee directly.

“If it is not the cartels that are influencing the filing of the case, maybe those who have filed it have acted out of ignorance,” he said. Mr Patrick Nzuna, the chairman of Muisuni coffee cooperative society, said farmers in Ukambani support the report.

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