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Farmers eager as coffee mill nears completion

RIFT VALLEY
By - | July 26th 2012

BY PETER MUTAI

A coffee-processing mill being constructed by farmers in Kipkelion District at Sh80 million is expected to start functioning by September.

The mill at Fort Tennan will be financed jointly by local farmers under Kipkelion District Co-operative Union and the Co-operative Bank.

According to the union’s manager Sammy Too, the installation of processing machines will start before the end of the month.

“There are enough coffee cherries to sustain the mill. The mill catchment area produces over 10,000 metric tonnes of cherries per year and this is equivalent to 40,000 bags of 50kgs processed coffee,” he said.

Speaking at the construction site during a visit by area MP and Energy Assistant minister Magerer Langat, the manager said this will ease coffee framers’ burden of transporting the produce to Nairobi for processing, saying the high transportation costs has led to poor pay from the crop.

He said farmers in the region would now save more than Sh50 million annually from transport cost incurred by farmers thus boosting their earnings. Too said the union has applied to the Coffee Board of Kenya for milling license to allow them start operations.

He said they were optimistic the license would be granted by September and called on the MP to pursue the matter with the Ministry of Agriculture.

On Wednesday, the union said they have applied for certification of the mill and was also in the process of registering a marketing agent to help market the produce once it starts operations.

Last year, Co-operative Development and Marketing Minister Joseph Nyagah said the coffee mill would serve farmers in Kericho and Bomet.

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