By Boniface Gikandi
Just as their venture starts picking up after being bogged down by debts, the farmers have now to contend with increased cases of theft.
The increased demand of coffee in the international market seems to have contributed to the theft in factories across the region.
The thefts appear to be the work of a well co-ordinated cartel that is ready to make a kill at the expense of the hard working farmers.
The most affected areas are Murang’a, Nyeri, Kiambu and Kirinyaga counties.
The thieves have been sneaking into coffee drying beds at night, targeting berries that are being fermented in tanks.
As a result of the increased cases of coffee theft, farmers in Kandara and Kigumo in Murang’a County have been forced to guard factories at night.
The most recent incident occurred at Kanunga Coffee Factory in Kiambu last week where a watchman was hacked to death after a 10-man gang drove into the factory taking away more than 5,000kg of parchment coffee.