For those in coffee growing areas who matured when the coffee sub-sector was bleeding to its death, the famed era of ‘Black Gold’ is an unfathomable tale only equivalent to the tales of Robin Hood or Sinbad.
This sector is sadly still reeling from numerous unviable and inefficient splinter co-operative societies. Never mind the rationale and benefits of large-scale production.
To add insult to injury, the sub-sector has been liberalised thus unleashing packs of hungry hounds in the name of brokers and millers hell bent to milk farmers dry.
This is what has led to the new phenomenon of coffee hawking and coffee theft from poorly guarded pulping factories.
KPCU is on its deathbed though the Government has made half-hearted attempts to rescue it.
The way forward is a strong and efficient cooperative movement, a revolving fund to sustain farmers – thus eliminating the temptation to hawk their berries.
Last and most importantly, value addition must be geared towards exporting a whole and packaged product.
This will check the deplorable habit of exporting coffee as a raw product.
Tony Wahome, Mariakania