By Joseph Mukubwa
Othaya Coffee Farmers Co-operative Society has released Sh43 million advance payment to coffee farmers.
The Society Chairman, Mr James Gathua said that the payments were released to over 11,000 small scale coffee farmers in Othaya, Nyeri County.
“This is just an advance of Sh20 per kilogramme which will help the farmers to pay school fees. The final payments will be released at the end of February,” he revealed.
The society is also set to hold its Annual General Meeting soon and there after call for elections for factory management in each coffee factory.
The society, which has 17 coffee factories in Othaya, also mills its own coffee at Gatuya-ini area.
The elections for the factories are held after three years.
However, the soceity’s coffee production has decreased from 3.8 million kilogrammes to 2.4 million kilos in the last three years.
Gathua said the sharp decline has been noted in all zones compared to 2015/16 season where the society’s production was 3.8 million kilos.
“The coffee production declined from 3.8 million kilos in 2015/16 to 1.8 million kilos in 2016/17 and 2.4 million kilos in 2017/18,” he lamented.
The society has over 10,000 members.
Gathua attributed the decline to climatic change and called on farmers to use improved varieties such as Ruiru II and Batian because they are resistant to diseases.
He also announced that the society will also start growing Ruiru grafted coffee seedlings which will go on sale next year.
He said the company received computerised roaster and a grinder all valued at Sh5.3 million from a former area Member of Parliament.