In Bungoma, Ruto announces more goodies for coffee farmers

President William Ruto's motorcade snakes through Bungoma town on Madaraka Day.

President William Ruto's motorcade snakes through Bungoma town on Madaraka Day.

Photo credit: PCS

Coffee farmers received a major boost on Saturday after President William Ruto announced measures to revive the sub-sector into a profitable investment.

The reforms include a Sh6.9 billion debt write-off for coffee cooperatives and the allocation of a Sh4 billion coffee cherry fund.

The Head of State, who was speaking at the 61st Madaraka Day celebrations held at Masinde Muliro Stadium in Kanduyi, Bungoma County, said the reforms are aimed at increasing coffee productivity and enabling farmers to make profits from the investment.

“Measures are underway to boost coffee productivity from 2kg to 10kg per tree and from 50,000 metric tonnes to 102,000 metric tons a year by 2027,” said Dr Ruto, noting that the strategic interventions have led to increased value-addition initiatives.

2024/2025 financial year

He disclosed the payment of Sh2 billion of the Sh4 billion Coffee Cherry Fund, while the Sh2 billion balance will be paid in the 2024/2025 financial year.

The initiatives, he said, will ensure that coffee farmers receive good returns from the measures aimed at transforming the sub-sector into a lucrative investment.

“Our strategic interventions have led to a marked increase in value-addition initiatives. This will ensure farmers get good returns for their investments,” said President Ruto.

To boost the production of sunflowers, some 70 tonnes of seeds were purchased in 2023, with 40 tonnes being distributed to farmers while an additional 40 tonnes of seed were allocated to the Agricultural Development Corporation for seed multiplication.

The government, through the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), has procured and distributed 500 metric tonnes of seeds worth Sh241 million to farmers in 24 counties.

He disclosed that Sh414 million has been budgeted for the 2024/2025 financial year to boost sunflower production under the National Edibles Oils Promotion Project.