Coffee farmers from Gatundu North Sub-County has called on the Government to address the plight of the coffee industry in the area, saying that they have continued languishing in poverty despite the promises made to streamline the sector.
Speaking during a farmers’ meeting at Kanyoni Coffee Factory, the coffee farmers lamented that their crop management and market have continued to deteriorate despite the formation of the much touted task force to deal with the cash crop.
Led by their Chairman John Waruingi, the farmers said that growers who had put their hope on coffee farming had started to pull out on learning their increasing coffee debts were intact.
They further urged the government to consider taming cartels in the coffee sector and initiate a subsidized program for high cost of farm inputs.
Many farmers have started to uproot coffee crops because the only returns they receive is huge debts. Unstable markets and mismanagement of our money by unscrupulous officials have led us to our current poverty, said Waruingi.
With the unfulfilled promises to revive the coffee sector by the government, we have lost the morale we had acquired as we initially planted the crops, said Joyce Wambui, a farmer.
They lamented that they have been receiving as low as Sh.20 per kilogram of coffee delivered which they said was not worth their efforts.
The growers called on the Deputy President who is expected to visit Gatundu North on Thursday, February 1st to open up Gatukuyu-Mataara road to consider intervening on coffee wrangles.
The 39-kilometer road which is funded through a partnership between the National Government and World Bank is expected to cost Sh.2 billion.
Source: Kenya News Agency