Coffee farmers to access off-shore markets directly

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Coffee farmers may be allowed to sell their produce directly to the off-shore markets if a proposal by the Coffee Sub Sector Committee is adopted in its current form.

According to the committee, the move is expected to weed out middlemen from the coffee value chain as well as diversify the country’s coffee markets in efforts aimed at increasing farmer’s earnings.

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In recent years, the coffee sector has been on a nose dive with many farmers opting for other economic activities due to poor returns.

To boost coffee production in the country, the Coffee Sub Sector Committee tasked with formulating policies, which will guide and regulate the industry, is proposing that farmers be allowed to sell their produce directly to customers as opposed to selling it via the auction.

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This is in an effort to weed out middlemen from the coffee value chain who have been eating into farmers’ earnings.

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This is also expected to help diversify the country’s coffee markets. To reduce over-reliance on the export market, Kenyans are being encouraged to increase consumption of coffee from the current low of 5 percent.

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The Coffee Sub Sector Committee is also scouting for alternative markets to add on to China and South Africa which are the latest markets secured by Kenya.

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