'Coffee reforms created room for cartels' Nyeri Coffee farmers

The farmers say the reforms in the coffee sector have created room for cartels

A section of coffee farmers in Nyeri county are pleading with the parliament to change laws and reforms that were introduced by the former agriculture minister Peter Munya on the sector.

The farmers say that the reforms made by Munya that touch on societies and cooperatives in the coffee sector have created room for cartels, who are taking advantage of them by not allowing them to participate in the auctions.

"As farmers, we feel there is a need for the parliament to come up with new reforms that will help us, the farmers, sell our coffee directly to international markets, "they said.

Members from several societies in the county said that the good climate in the region has favoured them profusely and with increased production, they expect to pocket huge earnings.

The farmers now want the Nairobi Coffee Exchange, which is mandated to manage coffee central auctions in the country, to partner with them and ensure the farmers have a direct market for their produce.

James Gichuhi, a coffee farmer from Mukurwe-Ini constituency said that he has never understood some of the reforms made by Munya and as farmers, they hope the news Cabinet Secretary agriculture Mithika Linturi will ensure coffee farmers get direct access to consumers.

"The reforms made on the coffee sector were so complicated that up to date I have never understood them, I hope that the new CS agriculture will sympathize with coffee farmers, "he said.

Mukurwe-Ini MP John Kaguchia has said they have been holding meetings with other Members of Parliament from the coffee growing areas within the Mt Kenya region and are pushing forward a motion that targets to eradicate coffee cartels.

"We have had meetings with other members from coffee growing regions and we are in the process to review the 2019 coffee task force law that allows coffee farmers to sell their coffee to any consumer locally and overseas," he said.

This comes days after a section of Mt Kenya leaders from the coffee growing region from both the senate and the national assembly held a meeting to discuss matters affecting coffee farmers in the region.

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