State sets aside Sh3 billion for coffee

Coffee farmers sort the cherry in Nyeri in 2018. [File, Standard]
A parliamentary committee has announced that Sh3 billion has been factored in the 2019/20 financial budget to help revive coffee farming.

Yesterday, the National Assembly Budget Allocation Committee said the amount, known as Cheery Advance Revolving Fund, had already been allocated.

On March 27, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the Government had set aside the money to help in harvesting and loss reduction at farm level.

During the opening of the 124th session of the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) Council in Nairobi, the President said the allocation was part of the Government’s commitment to reviving the sub-sector.

Yesterday, the committee, led by its chair Makali Muli on a public participation forum in Nyeri County, assured farmers the amount was part of Sh3.03 trillion budget for the 2019/20 financial year. “Starting July this year, small-scale farmers will be able to finance harvesting of their produce. Farmers will access the fund at a modest interest rate of 3 per cent per annum,” said Mr Muli.

Uhuru had announced that the Government was riding on coffee as a credible vehicle to advance rural development and spur wealth creation.

Other reforms include the rehabilitation of 500 pulping stations in 31 counties and ensuring that farmers access adequate planting materials.

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The President said coffee production had declined over the years, a situation that had only been mitigated by the “excellent performance of Kenyan coffee at the international market where it has always attracted premium prices”.

Kenya produces between 40,000 tonnes and 50,000 tonnes, having declined from a peak of 128,941 tonnes in the 1983/84 crop year.

Further reforms in the sub-sector include transforming the Nairobi Coffee Exchange into a commodity exchange platform.

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Cheery Advance Revolving FundCoffee farmersCoffee sector