It's a wake-up call as Gachagua to meet farmers over coffee

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua at a recent function. Mr Gachagua has organised a three-day summit to be held in Meru County where stakeholders are expected to discuss how to revive coffee farming. [File, Standard]

Some of the emerging issues that will be discussed at the meeting include capitalising on the distinct flavour and aroma of Kenyan coffee in marketing efforts and strengthening cooperatives as key actors in the development of the coffee sector.

Last month, Gachagua and visiting Colombian Vice President Francia Marquez discussed how Kenya and Colombia could work together as they seek to penetrate high-value coffee markets including Canada, Belgium and the US. One of the focus areas of the summit in Meru will be tightening the legal framework with a view of instituting laws, policies and regulations that will make farmer-centred reforms possible.

"Coffee farmers have been exploited from all sides. It is disheartening that the farmer, who works so hard to produce coffee, cannot afford a cup of coffee. This is despite good export market prices. During the upcoming summit, we will look at the reforms that will lock out brokers and ensure farmers reap full benefits from their hard work," said Mr Nicholas Mesa, a coffee farmer from Nyamira County said.

President William Ruto has tasked the DP to lead public reforms, including in the coffee, tea and milk sub-sectors, even as the Kenya Kwanza administration rolls out programmes to revamp the agriculture sector.

The government has a special focus on agriculture with a view of enhancing food production as a way of reducing the cost of basic commodities.

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