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Coffee growers want government to deal with middlemen

Coffee growers from central Kenya want the government to eliminate middlemen in the coffee export business by linking them to direct buyers abroad for better returns.

During a sensitization forum organized by Kenya Coffee Producers Association in Thika, Kiambu County, the farmers accused the middlemen of failing to involve them in the evaluation of the coffee before determination of the product reserve price and in auctioning of coffee.

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Coffee farmers based from Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri, Makueni and Machakos counties while meeting in Thika regretted that despite their toil, the returns have been very minimal owing to a dysfunctional system that continues to favour middlemen.

The farmers are uncomfortable with the marketing of their produce, payment in shillings while their coffee is sold in the dollar currency and infiltration of the sector by insensitive brokers.

According to Kenya Coffee Producers Association chairperson Peter Gikonyo who is also a farmer from Murang’a County, farmers’ involvement in the coffee value chain is key in ensuring they make maximum returns from their labor.

The government has initiated a raft of coffee reforms and strategies to revitalize the coffee sector and take it back to profitability.

The farmers are optimistic the efforts by government will bear fruits.

Kevin Wachira
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