Waiguru who was addressing a meeting between Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and representatives of all the 15 Coffee Cooperative Societies in Kirinyaga, said that coffee farmers in the region have for a long time suffered in the hands of middlemen who buy coffee from them without any guaranteed price.
An overseas coffee buyer has cancelled projects set to benefit farmers in Meru County until a dispute is resolved.
In a letter seen by The Standard, Trabocca BV from Netherlands asked Meru Coffee Mill to account for 3,877kg it claims was mishandled.
Tea and coffee are already selling in China but the only problem is the tariff, which the country is negotiating with China. China is the biggest trading partner for Kenya, accounting for 17 per cent of the Kenya’s annual trade by value or more than Sh400 billion.
But all this trade has been heavily tilted in China’s favour.
Global consumers are still drinking coffee, but few are visiting cafes. Instead they are buying medium-quality supermarket beans to drink at home, foregoing high-end coffee shop offerings and spelling disaster for specialist suppliers.
Farmers in Murang’a who delivered cherry to the country’s largest coffee miller more than a decade ago have finally been paid. Members of Karuhiu Utheri Farmers Co-operative Society Ltd had cause for celebration after receiving Sh9,618,607 for cherry delivered in the 2008/2009 financial year.
Although they are still delivering the produce to factories, the farmers yesterday called on the government to come up with mitigating measures that will cushion them from losses.With their income depending on the export market, farmers who spoke to Saturday Standard yesterday described the situation as fluid, coming a month after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced measures to revive the sector.
The Church of Scotland and the Holy Ghost Fathers were the first to grow commercial coffee in Kenya. In the early 1890s, Clement Scott bought 3,000 acres around Thogoto in Kiambu to grow cash crops, including coffee. This was to help make the church self-supporting in terms of food and finances.
Will Forsman spent two weeks in Africa in January to see where the coffee he serves at Cafe Steam comes from.
He did not return with otherworldly wisdom. The few days he spent touring coffee-growing and coffee-processing operations did not teach him everything about the rich cultures of the places he visited.
Smallholder coffee farmers will start accessing loans from the Sh3 billion revolving kitty that is part of the measures by the State to revive the industry.
Coffee trees that once dotted the landscape of the region for years are fast disappearing and in their place avocados and macadamia are taking over.