• April 16, 2024
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Gachagua hints plans on waiving coffee debts

Gachagua hints plans on waiving coffee debts

Murang’a,

Thursday, March 21, 2024

KNA by Bernard Munyao/Purity Mugo

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has mulled the government’s plans to write off debts owed by coffee cooperative societies.

On Wednesday Gachagua addressing coffee farmers while commissioning Murang’a Farmers coffee mill at Maragua stated that he will spearhead discussion with the ministry of cooperatives among other relevant stakeholders and scrutinize debts owed by farmers aligned to various cooperative societies.

He noted within a period of three weeks, the exercise of verifying the debts will be over and farmers should expect goods news as the government have various strategies to revive the coffee sector

“Our farmers should expect good news from the talks we are going to have. The president has good will towards reviving the coffee sector and one way of doing so is to writing off all the loans owed by farmers.” He added.

The deputy president expressed his commitment to streamline the coffee sector saying already reforms being implemented have started to bear fruits.

“For the last one year, a large amount of coffee has been exported and as a government we are working to eliminate all cartels who for a long time have been exploiting our farmers.” He asserted.

Gachagua continued “availability of cherry advance fund which now stands at Sh. 4 billion is aimed to support farmers to increase production and caution them from financial constraints. The money is available to all coffee farmers but not to only those who supply their coffee through New Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU).

He added coffee farmers will be able to access subsidized fertilizer at their cooperative society within a period of less than one month. Gachagua lauded Murang’a farmers’ cooperative union for establishing the coffee mill saying the facility will assist in processing and selling final product without engaging many players.

“The coffee will be processed and packaged here and the union has a license to directly export their product without bringing in many players. This will increase earnings to farmers,” he noted.

The coffee commenced its operations after the government assisted the facility to get a transformer last month.

The plant has the capacity to process 1. 2 million tons of coffee per hour with management of the union working to increase the processing capacity to more than 5 million tons per hour.

Cabinet secretary for cooperatives Simon Chelugui praised the installation of the million plant saying farmers from the county will benefit more from their produce.

Chelugui lauded Murang’a farmers for taking advantage of the cherry advance fund saying more than 15, 000 coffee farmers have benefited from the kitty.

“More than 15, 000 farmers from this county have sourced a total of Sh. 354 million from the cherry fund kitty. The money is available and we want more farmers to access the money for improvement of their production,” he noted.

On his part, Governor Irungu Kang’ata noted the facility will ensure farmers produce is processed and graded appropriately.

He observed for many years’ unscrupulous ways were employed in private processors where farmers were denied the right to know the correct grade of their coffee.

“Now farmers from this county will monitor their coffee from farms and through the process of grading. This will ensure they get the right returns from their produce. As the county government we are also investing in the coffee sector by bringing in youths to venture in coffee farming,” he added.

Kang’ata praised the quality of coffee produced in the county saying his administration will spearhead marketing of the processed coffee from the mill.

Construction of the coffee mill started during the last regime but failed to commence operations due to lack of some equipment including supply of electricity.

Courtesy; KNA

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