By BONIFACE GIKANDI
Murang’a County: Private millers in Murang’a County have been challenged to pay farmers better for their coffee.
Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria said farmers should be paid better as international coffee prices have improved.
Speaking during a tour of Kandara Sub County, Iria revealed that coffee farmers affiliated to Eastern Aberdares Coffee Cooperatives (Ecomill) have been getting better returns compared to others.
“Ecomill is paying better and the commercial millers should do the same as county government is committed to ensure farmers gain from their produce,” he said.
He said his government will support Ecomill to procure equipment for packaging coffee to enhance value addition.
He said Delloitte and Touche, a management company, will soon visit the county to help seal the loopholes used by unscrupulous management committees to swindle farmers.
The governor was accompanied by county executives Albert Mwaniki (Agriculture) Macharia Githirwa (Youth) and Dr Susan Muthoni (Health).
Iria also commissioned the Sh50 million Ajibika water irrigation programme as part of his government’s efforts to support irrigation farming this year.The governor said Murang’a has the potential of becoming the country’s food basket if water for irrigation is provided in all parts.
“Murang’a County has 36 permanent rivers which can be exploited to start vibrant irrigation programmes with Nairobi being the ready market for farm produce,” said the governor.