Inside Politics

Coffee farmers form clusters to market, sell produce

Monday, November 9th, 2020 00:00 |
Coffee farming. Photo/Courtesy

A section of small-scale farmers in Kiambu County have formed groups to start milling and selling their coffee directly.

The move is meant to ensure farmers tap the lucrative premium export market where quality coffee beans fetch a premium price and will enable farmers grow, pulp, mill and sell their coffee, thus eliminating the role of middlemen.

The 10-member cluster groups hope to collaborate with the New Kenya Planters’ Co-operative Union (KPCU) to supervise the milling, grading and also find markets for their produce.

Unpaid revenue

Speaking after a training in Thika town spearheaded by area MP Patrick Wainaina, coffee farmers took issue with the old KPCU for failing to pay them for the coffee delivered between 2008 and 2009.

“While we delivered our produce on time, the government through the old KPCU has not paid us for our 2008 and 2009 productions.

There is however a reprieve for better returns in future should we move in groups and start making direct sales eliminating room for middlemen,” said Ben Gitau a farmer representative.

Wainaina said that the move to have farmers sell their coffee directly will eliminate the middlemen who have been mismanaging sales of the produce and embezzling billions of shillings from hardworking farmers.

He urged agriculture and trade ministries to help farmers commercialise their produce for better livelihoods.

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