DP Gachagua alleges that cartels are boycotting purchasing of coffee to frustrate the reforms being implemented. He told farmers to be patient adding that it was not a simple or easy fight.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua says reforms in the coffee subsector are on course and has asked farmers to be patient even as prices remain depressed.
Some frustrated coffee farmers from Muranga County caused a stir recently after they uprooted their cash crop saying prices had dropped by more than half from last year.
This was despite spirited effors by DP Gachagua to put reforms aimed at increasing returns to farmers.
Today, Gachagua said the Government is working on policies to push out cartels that have been profiting from their hard work and sweat.
Speaking on Sunday in Othaya, Nyeri County, Mr Gachagua said the Government will not relent on the reforms, indicating a key cartel composed of four individuals is deeply entrenched in the subsector and that it is even attempting to sabotage the Government’s plan by creating an artificial crisis in the coffee industry.
He spoke at Kagere PCEA Church where he attended Sunday Service and fundraiser for the institution.
The Deputy President added that proposed amendments to various laws that regulate coffee business will be tabled in Parliament soon.
“The cartels are entrenched and they are few. They buy coffee at throw away prices and sell in foreign countries at exorbitant prices. The changes are on course. Amendment of the law will be tabled in Parliament soon. It proposes, among others, that if you are a coffee miller, you cannot be a marketer or a seller. It is one man, one job,” said the Deputy President.
He asked Members of Parliament to support the amendment in order to uplift farmers.
One of the reforms being fought by the cartel, he said, is the revival of the New KPCU and the Coffee Board of Kenya.
Gachagua added that the cartels are engineering an artificial crisis in the subsector as method to fight back the reforms.
“They (cartels) have united and are trying to create an artificial crisis and propaganda that because of the reforms, the Kenyan coffee has been boycotted, which is a lie,” he said.
He urged farmers to be patient saying it was not an easy or simple fight.
The DP said cartels were boycotting buying coffee to sabotage the reforms.
On tea, the DP assured the farmers that the subsector was not badly off since the annual advance payments (bonus) to smallholder farmers has increased this year.
Various tea factories across that are managed by Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) last week declared higher bonus payments compared to previous years.
Regarding milk, Gachagua said the Government is working on measures that will increase the farm-gate price of the commodity to Sh60 per litre.
“The reforms that I was tasked to push by President William Ruto in coffee, tea and milk, have started to bear fruit. We got a high bonus this year, which has not been witnessed earlier. We are doing well. For milk, we are not badly off as well. The Government will push the farm gate price to a minimum of Sh60 per litre,” he said.