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New coffee report faulted by farmers’ lobby group

A coffee farmers lobby group has faulted a report by a taskforce presented to President Uhuru Kenyatta on how the sector’s problems should be addressed, saying it failed to identify key issues.

Speaking to People Daily, chairman of New Nation Farmers Association Harrison Munyi said the report failed to find ways of eliminating cartels who are the primary source of coffee farmers woes.

“We feel that unless the cartels are eradicated through formulation of laws that dismantle them, farmers will always languish in poverty,” he said.

Munyi, at the same time, faulted the proposed payment of advance money at Sh15 per kilo saying the amount is peanuts. He said what the farmers need is a guaranteed maximum price instead.

Big changes

According to the report, farmers should be paid once they deliver their cherry pegged on 40 per cent of the prevailing price for cherry delivered. The report called on marketers to cap the minimum advance payment paid to farmers at Sh15 per kilo.

The team further recommends that farmers be allowed to sell directly at the auction without passing through licensed marketers as is the case today. It further proposes the establishment of a three-year subsidy programme at a cost of Sh1.21 billion to cushion farmers and revive the ailing industry.

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