Governors throw weight behind coffee revival plan

Business Daily Kenya: 

Nicholas Waitathu along with Kirera Mwiti @PeopleDailyKe

Governors through coffee-growing counties yesterday agreed to support proposals being discussed by stakeholders to revive the cash crop. During a two-day meeting organised by the Coffee Sub-sector Implementation Committee (CSIC) in Naivasha, 20 governors promised to support reforms being pursued by the committee along with additional chain players.

Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria on behalf of his colleagues said the counties will support the proposals to ensure the sub-sector regained its glorious days. “We are in support of the reforms being fast-–tracked by the government.

Our main concern is usually to assist farmers gain strong financial base thereby be able to meet their financial obligations,” Mwangi said. The committee appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta has been tasked together with value chain players to revive the industry.

CSIC drafted ‘The Coffee (General) Regulations 2016’ which are currently undergoing discussion among the stakeholders before they are implemented. A key proposal within the regulations is usually establishment of the Central Depository Unit, a platform in which will handle proceeds of the sale of coffee by auction or by direct sales.

The committee plans to push for review of the current marketing laws to allow coffee growers to directly trade their coffee within the Nairobi Coffee Exchange. This specific entails combining various licences — pulping, milling, grower along with marketer — along the value chain into one licence.

additional reforms include restructuring co-operative societies in which are currently grappling with governance issues at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange. Co-operative societies be paying farmers 85 per cent of net earnings through the current requirement of 80 per cent.

“As governors we are concerned with the declining output which has contributed to low payments along with lack of morale along with to a large extent increase in poverty, among additional economic miseries,” Mwangi said.

the item was agreed in which the industry needs strong financial support to the tune of Sh7.5 billion in order to realise complete revival. The national government will avail Sh4.4 billion in next financial year while counties will inject Sh3.1 billion.

“The national government, governors, farmers, key government agencies along with additional value chain players are in agreement in which the coffee sub sector needs to be revived,” he said.

Industry along with Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary minister Adan Mohamed said the government is usually planning to amend laws along with policies governing agriculture export commodities having a view to enhancing value addition.

“Government strategy is usually increase value addition of local products to more than 50 per cent. Doing so will qualify local products to attract premium prices at the international market,” he said.

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Governors throw weight behind coffee revival plan

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