Boost for coffee farmers as Kenya signs MoU with US on collaboration

The signing of MoU between the Ministry of Co-operatives (Kenya) and National Co-operative Business Association NCBA-CLUSA (US) during the US, Kenya Business Forum in Washington DC, recently. Photo:courtesy

The Kenyan government and the United States have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation and collaboration on the coffee value chain and other identified areas of mutual interest.

The MoU between the Ministry of Co-operatives and MSMEs Development (Kenya) and National Co-operative Business Association NCBA-CLUSA (US) were signed during the US Kenya Business Forum at the United States Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC, USA.

It was signed by Prime Cabinet Secretary and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs (Kenya) Musalia Mudavadi on behalf of Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Cooperatives and MSMEs Development in Kenya Simon Chelugui and Doug O’Brien – President and CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (US).

The MOU was signed in the presence of the Executive Director of ACCOSCA George Ombado, Vice President of the Cooperative League of the United States Valeria Roach and David Mategwa  the Vice Chair of ACDF.

This historic moment took place on the sidelines of the US Kenya Business Forum which was presided over by Dr William Ruto President of the Republic of Kenya, and Kamala Harris Vice President of the US.

The purpose of the MOU is to provide a collaborative framework between the parties to support the sustainable growth of the coffee sub sector in Kenya by promoting the vertical integration of cooperatives in the coffee value chain, quality improvement in the production and processing of coffee, market access of Kenyan coffee both nationally and internationally and supporting initiatives.

It will also  provide a forum for cooperation between the parties to strengthen the proven cooperative business model in Kenya to implement an efficient, transparent and affordable coffee value chain  and a solid production and marketing strategy, effectively maximizing profit for the smallholder coffee farmers as well as establishing profitable export driven, high value coffee market for Kenyan coffee.

The deal provides a collaborative framework for other areas and initiatives of mutual benefit between the parties.

The MoU entails the parties to foster the vertical integration of cooperatives in the coffee value chain, promote capacity building of the smallholder coffee farmer on coffee production, processing, marketing and export of coffee.

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It will also enhance efficient management of cooperatives that emphasizes collaboration, cooperation and shared responsibility among members for effective and efficient service delivery to the members.

The MoU objective also include creating a forum to identify and address existing and anticipated barriers to marketing of Kenyan coffee in the international market, foster market access, innovation, strengthen business links that maximizes profit and minimizes risk for the smallholder coffee farmer in the cooperative.

It will also grow academic and research ties through promoting collaborative projects, research and information exchange.

Additionally it will provide a collaborative framework for other areas and initiatives of mutual benefit between the parties and advance Kenya’s national co-op policy and legislation.

The African Confederation of Cooperative Savings and Credit Associations (ACCOSCA) coordinated the signing of the MOU, the movement indicated that it continues accelerating inclusive growth in Africa by leveraging the Cooperative Business Model to empower people living in Africa economically.

ACCOSCA has been accelerating its efforts to advocate for the cooperative movement in Africa on a global scale.

The MOU put emphasis on efforts by the Kenyan Ministry of Cooperatives and MSMEs Development to provide a collaborative framework that supports the sustainable growth of the coffee subsector by promoting the vertical integration of cooperatives in the coffee value chain and international market access.

The MOU also propels ACCOSCA’s relentless mission of using the Cooperative Business Model for social and economic transformation in Africa.

By Obegi Malack

obegimalack@gmail.com

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