By Makoma Musyoka
A ward representative has pledged to audit all the coffee societies in Machakos County with a view of reviving the sector which has been run down through mismanagement over years.
Speaking to hundreds of farmers at Kilalani Coffee Farmers Co-operative Society in Kangundo Sub-county during this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), Kangundo Ward representative Moses Mitaa noted that for decades the growers had been suffering due to mismanagement of their societies and lack of good market for their produce.
“Coffee was a major cash crop in this county and I will do everything to save the sector from total collapse and ensure farmers benefit from high prices,” said Mitaa, who is also the chairman of the agriculture committee in the County Assembly.
He said his committee will soon inspect all the 32 coffee societies in the county and audit them to ensure they are run professionally for the benefit of farmers who he noted have been impoverished by the management committees they elect.
His comments came two weeks after area Member of Parliament Fabian Kyule asked the Commissioner of Co-operatives to move to his constituency and audit all the coffee societies in the region.
This is after a forensic audit report unearthed alleged mismanagement of over Sh39 million at Muisuni Farmers’ Co-operative society in the sub-county.
The MP said corruption and mismanagement of coffee societies was responsible for the collapse of the sector.
The lawmaker lamented that hardworking farmers had been left at the mercy of unscrupulous factory management committees which had led to accumulation of huge debts and massive losses in the past ten years.
Machakos County is the leading coffee producing area in lower Eastern region.