By Edna Mwende
The government will from July offer coffee farmers advance payments through the Cherry Advance Revolving Fund in a bid to boost the cash crop’s sector.
The announcement by President Uhuru Kenyatta will see the cash crop farmers benefiting from Ksh 3 billion revolving fund at an interest rate of three percent.
During his announcement when he opened the 124th session of the International Coffee Council at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC); President Kenyatta said that the new institutional, legal and support services interventions are intended to reverse the negative trends facing the coffee sub-sector and safeguard the future of coffee farming in the country.
Other reforms expected in the sector will include the rehabilitation of 500 pulping stations in 31 counties and ensuring farmers access sufficient planting materials and the requirement that all java cooperatives present audited annual reports to the agriculture cabinet secretary within months.
“The inaugural audits under the forthcoming enhanced regulatory framework will cover the calendar year 2019, and shall be submitted by all co-operatives on or before 31 December, 2019,” he said.
At the moment, java is sold through the auction at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange given that most of the cooperative societies do not have access to the direct market. The President also announced that the sector would be liberalised to usher in a new era of direct marketing by co-operative societies.
According to a news report by the Business Daily, Kenya is globally reputed for production of fine Arabica strain that has high flavor, pleasant aroma and according to President Kenyatta, coffee farming is a tool for easing poverty in rural areas.