Inside Politics

Coffee row deepens as Munya tells off CMA over traders’ licensing

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021 00:00 |
Coffee farming. Photo/Courtesy

MARKETING: The war over the coffee exchange has deepened after Ministry of Agriculture dismissed the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) call on licensing coffee brokers and supervision of the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE).

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said yesterday that CMA is not properly structured to oversee marketing of the coffee in the country.

“Management of the Nairobi auction already is being carried out by the coffee directorate and equally will be broadly undertaken once the Coffee Bill 2021 is enacted by Parliament. I am not aware of the Capital Markets (Coffee Exchange), Regulations 2020 which CMA is purported to be implementing,” he said.

He also dismissed the Coffee Bill 2020 being fast-tracked as a private bill in the Senate by Senator Njeru Ndwiga. 

The Senate Bill, Munya said, lacks critical information on reforms needed in the coffee subsector and thus needs to be withdrawn to pave the way for the bill in the national assembly to progress.

The remarks made by Munya during a breakfast meeting on the national coffee revitalisation progress at a Nairobi hotel is likely to worsen  the relationship between various agencies expected to implement reforms desired to revitalise the coffee sub-sector.

CMA, he said lacks the requisite mandate to control marketing of coffee and thus under the new regulations if allowed to undertake will create more confusion.

The Coffee Bill 2021, the CS explained, seeks to reintroduce the Coffee Board of Kenya (CBK) which will be restored to manage the entire coffee value chain.

Value chain

“We anticipate Parliament will have enacted the bill in the next three to five months and thus entire management of the value chain will be placed under the new CBK. 

Present members of parliament during the event pledged support to the reforms being undertaken by the national Government in the coffee subsector.

“We are behind the national government coffee reform agenda with a view to ensuring downtrodden farmers benefit from the market premium prices,” said the National Assembly agriculture committee vice chairman MP Catherine Waruguru.   

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