• April 18, 2024
  • Last Update April 18, 2024 8:48 PM
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Coffee cooperatives societies asked to verify and list their debts

Coffee cooperatives societies asked to verify and list their debts


Sunday, March 31, 2024

KNA by Bernard Munyao

The Ministry of cooperatives has asked coffee cooperative societies to list and verify their debts so as to help the government factor in funds to waive the owed arrears.

The Ministry’s cabinet secretary, Simon Chelugui, noted that listing the debts will give the government the right information on the amount needed to clear the debts.

Speaking in Murang’a on Friday, Chelugui said the government is committed to revitalize the coffee sector noting one way of doing so is to waive debts owed by farmers through their cooperative societies.

He explained that after getting the right figure of the total debts, they will seek approval in the national assembly to have the money factored in the budget to clear the debts.

“In the dairy sector, debts were waived, currently debts in the sugar industry are being worked on and now the government is committed to clear the debts owed by coffee farmers,” he said,

“I appeal to county governments where coffee is grown to help in listing and verifying the debts so as to hasten the process,” he added.

Chelugui stressed on the need to revive the coffee industry saying by doing so farmers’ income will grow as well as boost the country’s economic growth.

“Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world after oil. The cash crop earns more than 625 billion US dollars annually but unfortunately what goes to farmers is less than 25 percent.” he said,

“As the government, we are working to remove the 26 intermediaries and brokers who are between the producers and consumers of coffee,” added the CS.

The intermediaries, he said have seen loss of coffee value by 90 percent leaving farmers to earn peanuts.

“In the near future, we want to remove all brokers and close the gap between the producer and consumer. This will see farmers’ earnings increase by a huge margin,” he added.

Chelugui appealed to county governments in the coffee growing zones to assist farmers with seedlings of the high yield producing coffee varieties so as to increase coffee production. “Our target is to increase coffee production to more than 200,000 metric tonnes annually.

Currently the production is about 100,000 metric tonnes and high production can be attained by availing extension services to farmers. This will be done by county administrations,” he said. The CS continued, “the farmers also need high quality farm inputs and finances to increase production and the government has set aside Sh. 8 billion cherry advance fund which can easily be accessed by farmers to increase production.” On avocado farming, the CS lauded Murang’a county for leading in production of avocado meant for export.

He highlighted among the 130,000 metric tonnes of avocado produced in the country, 100,000 metric tonnes are exported to overseas markets.

“Last year, Murang’a county produced 21,000 metric tonnes of avocado which were exported.” He said noting that the fruit is becoming the county’s major foreign exchange earner and as the government they are committed to support avocado production not only in Murang’a but in other counties.

“With support from farmers to produce quality fruits and avoid post-harvest losses, farmers’ income will go up and the country will become a leading exporter of avocado,” he added.

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