Coffee farmers seek grants from county to revive sector

Coffee berries. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

Coffee farmers have appealed to the county government to provide them with grants to revive the sub-sector.

The farmers said coffee farming has gone down due to high cost of inputs compounded by poor prices.

Presenting their views on Thursday during a meeting with county agriculture officials, the farmers said there was no motivation to engage in coffee farming.

Patrick Katingima, their leader, asked the county government to consider giving them grants in order to improve the situation.

According to Katingima, the previous regime failed to bail them out.

"We are here begging the new county leadership to have mercy on coffee farmers by providing the necessary assistance to revive the sector," he said.

Katingima said many farmers were overwhelmed by loans.

Agriculture and Co-operatives Executive Joel Nzomo assured them that under the administration of Governor Wavinya Ndeti, their pleas would be addressed. 

"The governor has good plans for all farmers in the county," said Nzomo who was accompanied by his chief officer for cooperatives Benedict Ngumbau.

The executive said the county government was seeking partnerships with foreign coffee buyers.

"I am consulting some foreign partners who are willing to buy coffee direct from Machakos and ready to provide farmers with cheap farm inputs, " he said.

Nzomo promised that extension officers will be deployed in all the sub-counties as one way of promoting agriculture.

He praised the Machakos cooperative union leadership for coming up with Lower Eastern Coffee Mill, which had saved farmers the trouble of ferrying their produce to distant millers.

The Standard
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