NAIROBI– The Kenyan government has released one billion shillings (about 9.9 million US dollars) to finance subsidized fertilizer for coffee farmers in efforts to boost production.
Agriculture Ministry Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Andrew Tuimur says the coffee sector has registered a dismal performance with production dropping from a high of 128,862 tonnes 20 years ago to the current 38,620 metric tonnes.
He was speaking Tuesday on the occasion of International Coffee Day, a global celebration involving 77 member nations of the International Coffee Organization to honour the women and men who grow coffee.
This year’s celebration took place at the General Kassam Stadium in Kirinyaga County and attracted hundreds of those in the coffee value chain.
Dr. Tuimur said Kenya is experiencing a huge drop in acreage under coffee from a high of 160,000 hectares to the current 114,000 hectares which has contributed to the low production.
The government is seeking to boost coffee production offering subsidies such as fertilizer and scrubbing the four per cent ad valorem levies. It has also set aside money for a revolving fund for farmers to avert the traditional delayed payments to farmers for the beans they sell.
Officials say cases of coffee theft have also been reduced after the government enhanced surveillance as well as beefed up security at facilities where the product is stored.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK