By Agnes Orang’o
Coffee farmers in Machakos County have a reason to smile as they will now be able to sell their coffee directly to consumers without having to pass through exploitative brokers.
This was disclosed by Kangundo MCA Moses Mitaa who said the County Government of Machakos acquired a license to export coffee without going through Kenya Coffee Planters Union(KCPU).
“I am happy to announce to our coffee farmers that our county government has a license to export coffee and our Lower Eastern coffee mill will be upgraded to be able to mill quality coffee for export,” said Mitaa.
Mitaa, who is also the outgoing Chair of the Agricultural Committee in the Machakos County Assembly said they already secured a market in South Korea.
He noted that now the price per kilogram will rise to at least Shs70 from the previous Shs20 per kilo.
He encouraged farmers who had uprooted the crop to revert and plant quality coffee as they will now rake in profits like in the 70s, 80s and 90s.
“We have a buyer from South Korea whom I have met and gone round coffee societies and coffee farms where he witnessed how harvesting is done and how the soil is. I want to tell our farmers that there won’t be labour without wages anymore. When things are bad the price will be Shs70,” he said.
On the same note, he said coffee societies will be revived, with the exception of those with huge debts.
The MCA also urged the farmers to take advantage of the revolving fund to be able to access fertilizer, pesticides and other farm inputs.
A spot check by Sacco Review established that many farmers, mostly in Kangundo and Matungulu sub-counties, had uprooted their coffee crop and ventured into other crops.