Good news for coffee farmers as Cabinet approves Sh 4 billion pay out to stabilise prices

The Cabinet has approved an additional Ksh 4 Billion for coffee farmers after bowing from pressure over collapsing prices.

This means farmers will now earn Sh80, a kilogramme of cherry, up from the current Sh20 a kilogramme, as an advance payment.

The funds are in addition to the Sh3 billion released earlier.The Government will also deliberately search for better markets for farmers by inviting world-renowned coffee chains to Kenya.

This will reenergise the Nairobi Coffee Exchange, which has witnessed depressed prices and low sale volumes at the auction.

Prices for coffee had dramatically dropped from a high of Sh 150 per kilo to the current Sh 20 following a stand off with brokers opposed to reforms

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua had earlier said that the industry requires Sh 6 billion to purchase coffee from farmers this season.

He told stakeholders that he would not be cowed by cartels that had declined to buy coffee from farmers in a bid to stall the reforms.

Gachagua said government would provide Sh 2 billion while another Sh 2billion would be given by cooperative bank and the Sh 2billion already with New KPCU would round it off to Sh 6b.

Githunguri MP Gathoni wa Muchomba had cried foul saying that while government was giving out Sh 117billion to sugarcane farmers, coffee farmers who only needed Sh 6billion were being ignored.

She said it was not fair for coffee farmers in Mt Kenya to be ignpred by the government they elected to the last man.

The Cabinet also approved the Supplementary Budget, which contains 10 per cent reduction across ministries.

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