Assembly committee to push for revival of coffee mill in Machakos

Coffee cherries spread out in the sun. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

An ailing coffee mill in Machakos has won the support of the county assembly's Agriculture Committee.

Lower Eastern Coffee Mill (Lecom), which is on the verge of collapse, is an affiliate of Machakos Co-operative Union - the umbrella body of all Ukambani region coffee farmers - started 10 years ago.

The team toured the mill on a fact-finding mission and resolved to resuscitate it. Committee chairman Charles Mbuva Muli said there was need to support it in order to uplift the lives of coffee farmers.

The mill's supervisory committee chairman, G K Wambua, said the equipment sourced from Brazil at a cost of Sh70 million had been operating without a standby generator, effectively disrupting operations.

Apart from power supply problem, Wambua said the mill required servicing. "Despite several pledges by the previous county government to assist, nothing had been forthcoming," he said.

Wambua pleaded with the county assembly to come up with a Bill to compel the Executive to set aside funds to boost coffee farming.

"Coffee has been adversely affected by high cost of farm inputs as well as poor international commodity prices," he said.