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Coffee sales, payment dominate assembly

NEWS
By LYDIAH NYAWIRA | June 5th 2014
By LYDIAH NYAWIRA | June 5th 2014
NEWS

Concern over sale of coffee through direct marketing dominated Nyeri County Assembly’s first sitting after recess.

The assembly members called for  a full report on the status of coffee sector and tasked the Agriculture committee to provide the House with progress of coffee sales to date.

Chairman of the Agriculture committee, James Kibira of Kirimukuyu Ward said coffee farmers from the area had no money to pay school fees for their children.

“I spent part of my last year’s salary to pay school fees and farmers are still waiting for information on the coffee sales,” Kibira said.

COFFEE AUCTION

Kibira said his committee would furnish the assembly with reports on the current state of the coffee sector.

“The committee has been following up on the sale of Nyeri farmers coffee. The governor told farmers he had sold at least 54 per cent of the coffee,” Kibira said.

Kibira noted that it was worrying to note that the Coffee Auction was expected to close on June 15 yet Nyeri coffee had not been sold.

Nominated MCA, Regina Macharia said she was concerned members of the assembly had been denied entry into the Sagana Coffee Mills last month when they had gone to inspect coffee bags from Nyeri County.

“We  have a mandate to oversee the work of the executive and we have a right to see the coffee Nyeri farmers had taken to Sagana mills,” Ms Macharia said.

Ms Macharia was referring to an incident when more than 10 MCAs stormed Sagana KPCU mills but were denied entry by security guards.

The members led by Anthony Kibuu, the majority leader in the House, claimed more than 134,000 bags of processed coffee worth Sh3 billion was yet to be sold despite assurance from the governor’s office that the coffee has been sold.

Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua went to the US, seeking markets for Nyeri coffee through direct sales.

Gachagua jetted back into the country a week after the incident and announced a payment of Sh355 million for coffee delivered to the recommended coffee mill in Sagana.

Gachagua assured farmers that the county had sold 54 per cent of the coffee delivered and made arrangements for farmers to be paid Sh10 for every kilogramme of cherry delivered.

Kibira assured the assembly that the committee would consult the executive on a way forward.

“ We urge farmers not to abandon coffee, we intend to bring legislation to the Assembly to ensure we protect farmers from exploitation in future,” Kibira noted.

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