By John Majau
The Meru County Government in partnership with the Co-operative Bank has introduced a new payment model for coffee farmers which is meant to speed up the payment of cherry once it is delivered to the factory.
The new format dubbed the “coffee-cash model” will reduce the lengthy waiting periods farmers undergo before being paid for their cherries with over 80,000 coffee farmers affiliated to 47 coffee cooperative societies in Meru County set to start benefiting from the process.
Speaking during the official launch of the programme at a Nkubu hotel in South Imenti Constituency, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and Co-operative Bank Managing Director Gideon Muriuki both said that the cash model is part of reforms being implemented to invigorate the sub sector.
Dr Muriuki said the bank had committed an initial capital of Sh200 million to make the model, which was borrowed from Ethiopia where farmers enjoy the advantage of prompt payments successful.
The National Government is piloting the system in Meru and it is hoped it will save millions of farmers the trouble and challenges of delayed payments.
He assured the farmers and society’s officials that the system of disbursing payments to farmers had been meticulously studied and found to be watertight.
The CEO said the bank had initially been worried on how the money was going to reach the intended beneficiaries but they were now convinced implementing the model will be smooth.
He said they had committed the initial Sh200 million which will be wired to the societies’ accounts.