Coffee cooperative societies in Nyeri county have been advised to insure the dried crop and enhance security around factories to tame theft of the commodity. At the same time, the county government has asked police to intensify patrols in all factories.
Speaking to the People Daily, Agriculture executive Robert Thuo said he has written to management of the societies to take the two precautions to avoid loss occasioned by the theft. “We have written to all management officials requesting them to ensure that coffee stored is insured, we have also requested them to install state-of-the art security system,” he said.
Officials have also been urged to ensure that all dried crop is delivered to milling firms for processing. The orders come hot on heels after thugs armed with crude weapons invaded Tambaya coffee factory in Mukurwe-ini and stole parchment coffee worth Sh30 million.
The thugs according to police and society officials gained entry after cutting part of the barbed wire fence and stole the crop which was on the drying tables. The coffee which is part of the early crop is usually harvested between June and July before the main season in September and the coffeemainly stored for two to three months before being delivered to the miller.
Last season, Nyeri and neighbouring counties of Murang’a and Kirinyaga witnessed unprecedented theft of the crop worth millions of shillings and deaths of more than 10 night guards.
The criminal activity was attributed to high demand of the crop by emerging millers following moves by some counties to mill and market farmers crop through pool methods. Some analysts claimed private millers were behind the theft to discredit the counties’s initiatives.