Meru Central coffee Cooperative Union acting CEO Joseph Kiogora. Photo/Mwenda Kinoti

Stakeholders in the coffee sub sector want the government to factor issues of climate change in reforms being initiated by Agriculture ministry to mitigate adverse effects on production.

They said climate change was affecting the cash crop and a big challenge to growers which called for campaigns to sensitive farmers.

Meru Central Coffee Union acting CEO Kiogora Mburugu said that it is through research and innovation that high and quality production will be achieved.

“The government is undertaking various measures, among them the issuance of subsidized farm inputs to boost production. We hope that the program will continue as it will help reduce cost of production. But we hope environmental management programs will also be part of interventions,”said Kiogora.

The call comes ahead of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s planned three day coffee stakeholders conference to be held in Meru next month.

Mburugu urged the government to also fast track the development and implementation of the coffee bills to the interest of the farmers.

On the other hand, Kiogora noted that coffee farmers are also faced with marketing challenges after production, calling for controlled market prices.

“The elephant in the room after production is undefined market prices. We call on the government to regulate the markets and eliminate cartels that have oppressed farmers over the years. Farmers need a direct contact with the buyer,” he observed.

The CEO added that there is a need for the government to improve the status of 97 coffee factories under the MCCU by equipping them with modern machines to reduce production costs.

“Many of our wet mill factories are in dilapidated state thus affecting the quality of beans delivered. Using unserviced machines also increases milling costs,” he added.

Coffee farming through the union has attracted about 150 000 growers with 30 percent comprising youth and women.

The union is also targeting to increase the harvest to 10kgs from the current 4kgs per bush, a move that Kiogora says will be achieved with the support of agricultural extension officers.


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