Coffee farmers in protest over delay in their payment

Coffee berries laid out to dry at a farm in Tetu, Nyeri. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

Coffee farmers affiliated to Muthithi Co-operative Society in Kigumo, have protested over delay by their management to remit their payment.

The farmers affiliated to New Njora, Kamugi and Gatune coffee factories claim that produce sold between March and September last year have not been paid after the proceeds were allegedly hoarded by a financial institution.

Led by Wachira Nyamu, the farmers accused their management committee of remaining silent over the matter after they delivered 270,000 kilogrammes for the process.

"It is a shock that the farmers are suffering despite communication from the contracted miller that payments had been released," said Nyamu.

Other farmers James Nduati and Waithira Mungai called for the dissolution of the society management committee over the delayed payment.

Nduati said the society management without consent of the farmers acquired a loan that led to withholding of the proceeds.

"The miller released the money through a bank only for consequences to follow," said Nduati.

Waithira recounted the embarrassment the farmers have gone through upon learning money had not been remitted in their accounts despite disclosure of payment rates.

"A teller upon checking my bank account disclosed that there was a problem as the millions of shillings remitted by the miller had been not been credited in the farmers accounts," she said.

Muthithi MCA Boniface Mbau said the matter will be investigated to establish the reasons behind the delayed payment.

"I will demand for a statement from the Murang'a County Government in a bid to understand the farmers' complaints," said the MCA after he attended the meeting.

But Society Chairman Patrick Maina when sought for comments said the payment of the money was ongoing.

"The payment started on Friday last week and I am pleading with farmers to be communicating with the management, instead of relying on misinformation," said Maina.