President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for the urgent removal of all barriers that hinder coffee farmers from reaping maximum profits from the cash crop.
The President said that lack of proper regulations had given room for middlemen to benefit from coffee at the expense of hardworking farmers thus leading to a decline in production of the crop that was once one of Kenya’s leading foreign exchange earners.
“Coffee is one of Kenya’s key cash crops but unfortunately it has been facing challenges. There is need to streamline the sector so that farmers can benefit,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta was speaking during a meeting with the International Coffee Organization (ICO) Executive Director José Sette who paid him a courtesy call at State House, Nairobi.
The ICO Executive Director briefed the President on the forthcoming 124th Session of the International Coffee Council meeting that will be held in Nairobi next week, from 25th to 29 March.
Mr Sette said the meeting, which will be attended by delegates from both coffee producing and consuming countries, will provide an opportunity for Kenyan farmers to exchange ideas with their counterparts from other countries and experts in the search for solutions facing the sector.
While acknowledging that Kenya is globally renowned for its premium quality coffee, the ICO Executive Director praised the ongoing efforts by the government to get coffee farming back on track for the benefit of farmers including finding new markets for the crop.
The meeting was attended by the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, Embu Senator Peter Njeru Ndwiga and Chairman of the Coffee Sub-Sector Reforms Implementation Committee Prof. Joseph Kieyah.