Coffee farmers optimistic of changing fortunes in new bill

Written By: Caroline Njenga
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Coffee farmers are optimistic that the proposed bill by Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria seeking to ban exportation of unprocessed coffee will boost their earnings.

The bill proposes that coffee is exported only in processed or roasted form, milled, locally packaged and branded with the ‘made in Kenya’ inscription.

Coffee farmers have for long been suffering in the hand of auctioneers and unscrupulous traders who buy raw coffee at very poor prices and export it for roasting and packaging, and then resell to the Kenyan market at more than triple the price.

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The bill by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria seeks to change the fortune of farmers by banning export of unprocessed coffee.  Coffee farmers have welcomed the bill.

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They are optimistic that if the bill is signed into law, it will wipe out cartels who have been taking advantage of peasant coffee farmers.

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While urging members of parliament to pass the bill, farmers decried the poor coffee returns, huge coffee factory debts and poor marketing strategies which has forced many of the old factories to close down.

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At the same time, farmers affiliated to Kathathani and Kiamuchii coffee factories are protesting the sale of their coffee by the respective committees over unpaid three years arrears.

The farmers are also accusing the committee of mismanagement of funds.

The two factories have also been grounded after workers boycotted their duties citing nonpayment for the last three years.

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