By Our Reporter.
Coffee farmers allied to co-operatives in Nyeri, Meru and Kirinyaga counties reported improved earnings for cherries delivered to factories this year compared to the previous year.
In Kirinyaga, farmers were paid Sh119 per kilogramme of cherry delivered at Thirikwa factory, the highest in the county in the history of the crop in Kenya.
Subsequently, coffee has earned farmers in Kirinyaga County a record Sh11.6 billion from the sale of last year’s harvest.
“The farmers, who had been frustrated by poor prices and were almost giving up the farming are now happy,” noted Warui Ngundo, the County Agriculture Executive.
Baragwi Farmers Society in Gichugu had the best coffee in terms of production and quality, according to Mr Warui.
In the past, coffee prices have been between Sh10 and Sh20 for every kilogramme delivered discouraging the production of the crop in the country.
In Nyeri, Gikanda, Gachatha and Barichu coffee societies paid farmers higher rates compared to last year. They paid Sh110, Sh105 and Sh97 respectively, per kilogramme.
Gichathaini, Kangocho and Ndaraoini factories, which deliver their produce to Gikanda Cooperative paid farmers Sh110, Sh101 and Sh100 per kg, respectively.
This is an improvement from last year when farmers were paid Sh81, Sh75 and Sh68.35, respectively per kg.
In total, the three factories produced 2.3 million kilogrammes of coffee this year and paid out more than Sh250 million to farmers, compared to Sh148 million paid last year for 1.9 million kilogrammes.