New Dawn for coffee farmers


Coffee farmer in Baringo

Summary

  • The American buyer has offered to buy a kilo of coffee at between six and seven Dollars equivalent to (Kenya Shillings 600 New -700).
  • The New Kenya Planters Cooperative Union started operations with Sh7 billion assets and a State funded Sh3 billion cherry advance kitty after completion of the liquidation of its predecessor.
  • Coffee cooperative societies from Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri and Kirinyaga have preferred New KPCU as their channel to market their cherry.

Coffee farmers have a reason to smile after securing an American market with capacity to buy every cherry produced in Kenya by the New Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU).

The American buyer has offered to buy a kilo of coffee at between six and seven Dollars equivalent to (Kenya Shillings 600 New -700).

The restructuring of coffee management has borne fruit this comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta instructed Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya to address the predicaments of Kenyan coffee farmers who have been subjected to years of wailing for meager to no pay.

The government revived the coffee industry which most of the people in Mt. Kenya region relied on to educate their children, start businesses and improve their livelihood.

Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU) was restructured to New Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU) with new management headed by acting Managing Director, Joel Kinyua.

The New Kenya Planters Cooperative Union started operations with Sh7 billion assets and a State funded Sh3 billion cherry advance kitty after completion of the liquidation of its predecessor.

New KPCU was made custodian of buildings and parcels of land that were under control of the defunct Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU) that went under 12 years ago owing millions of shillings to coffee farmers and local banks.

New Kenya Planters Cooperative Union

Payment in excess of Sh.90 million will be made to farmers who have delivered their coffee to the New KPCU.

Under leadership of acting Managing Director, Joel Kinyua New KPCU has started on the right footing after securing an international market which is offing good returns for hard labour that farmers undertake to produce the once considered black gold.

“After the revival of KPCU, farmers from Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri and Kirinyaga have been delivering their coffee to Warehouses at Dandora in Nairobi for milling,” Kinyua Said.

The buyer from USA has committed 50 per cent down payment of the total value of coffee while the remainder will be cleared once the coffee arrives America.

Sh.70 and 110 per kilo will be paid to farmers from these proceeds. The quality of coffee will determine what each farmer gets. Kinyua reiterated that the government through New KPCU is committed to reviving the coffee sub-sector.

Coffee cooperative societies from Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri and Kirinyaga have preferred New KPCU as their channel to market their cherry.

Kinyua urged farmers to increase their output since their product is fetching good prices and a reliable marketer controlled by government is in place thus creating a seamless channel from production to market.

“Farmers need to increase production of coffee as prices have gone up and with KPCU in place, marketing of the cherry will be boosted,” Kinyua added.

Kinyua further affirmed that plans to rehabilitate in Sagana, Meru stores which are in deplorable conditions are in high gear to enable farmers deliver their coffee in suitable stores. This will save farmers from coffee thieves who have caused a lot of misery for too many farmers across coffee growing regions.

“Use of our stores will minimize the upsurge in coffee thefts witnessed in several factories. Revival of the Nairobi – Nanyuki railway line will also support transportation of coffee to our mills in Nairobi,” added Kinyua.

New KPCU is sourcing for more buyers internationally and as such coffee cooperative societies should make New KPCU their marketer of choice. To guarantee farmers that they will not be subject to the quandary that the former defunct KPCU subjected them to, Kinyua said the new entity has put into place mitigation measures to safeguard interests of farmers.

Farmers will be appointing representatives to take care of their interest, the representatives must be farmers whom shall among other things be involved in determining the market and the price.

“Through the New KPCU, farmers will be at liberty to determine prices and buyers for their coffee beans. The New KPCU will assist farmers throughout the process of selling coffee,” he affirmed.

The Sh.3billion Cherry Advance Fund is under the management of the New KPCU Board of management. The director urged farmers to apply for loans so as to benefit from the fund that is primarily meant for coffee farmers where one shall only pay 3% interest.

“To qualify for a Cherry Advance Loan, you must be a coffee farmer because it is your coffee that will act as security. 40 percent of coffee value per kilo goes directly to the farmer and the loan will attract a mere 3% interest,” said Kinyua.

Farmers are liberty to obtain farm inputs such as fertilizer which shall be subsidized to a cost that does not exceed Sh.2, 000 a bag and farmers can apply for the loan via the phone.

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