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US investors to help market coffee abroad

By Kamau Maichuhie | Published Thu, August 23rd 2018 at 00:00, Updated August 22nd 2018 at 22:38 GMT +3

Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro with Nebraska State Senator Dan Quick in one of the coffee farms in Githunguri Constituency yesterday .The senator led a delegation that is exploring on how they will be buying Kenyan coffee directly from the farmers. [PHOTO: KAMAU MAICHUHIE/STANDARD]

US investors visited Kiambu and Murang’a to discuss with farmers how to sell coffee directly to the American market.

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The investors, drawn from Nebraska State, on Tuesday toured Komothai Coffee Growers Cooperative Society in Githunguri constituency. The two groups discussed the possibility of making Nebraska a distribution centre for coffee sourced directly from farmers.

The trip was coordinated by the Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation (GIAEDC).

The US delegation was led by Nebraska State Senator Dan Quick and GIAEDC President Dave Taylor.

Addressing the farmers, Mr Taylor said they sought to collaborate with the farmers to promote their coffee as a brand.

Senator Quick said the US investors were keen on helping local coffee farmers find market in Nebraska.

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Biggest consumer

One of the investors said the US is one of the biggest consumers of coffee in the world.

“Our job is to connect you with the American consumers so that they can buy your coffee. If all systems work, you will be able to make more money,” said the investor.

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Kiambu County Woman Representative, who comes from the constituency, said farmers had not been getting good returns for their coffee.

“Something went wrong somewhere which must be addressed,” said Ms Wamuchomba.

Githunguri MP Gabriel Kago, who hosted the delegation, said the deal would guarantee better prices for coffee farmers, and cautioned leaders against politicising it.

Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro said a direct coffee market in the US would eliminate poverty.

“Cartels that have for years held the coffee sector hostage should now know that their days are numbered,” said Nyoro.

The US team also visited Murang’a where they held talks with coffee growers to explain how the direct-marketing platform will work.

New platform

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In Murang’a, the plan proposes to link farmers to the new market through Zambuni Coffee Company and payments made depending on quality.

“We have created a platform that links coffee farmers with the market without the barriers of middlemen.

“In the US, we do not get to taste the special coffee that Kenya produces,” said Taylor.

Elected leaders from the area did not attend the meeting.


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