By Allan Wanjiku
Tea crusader Irungu Nyakera who has been in the forefront in agitating for reforms in the Agriculture sector has been appointed as the patron for coffee farmers.
The farmers through the Kenya Coffee Platform that the representatives of the 44 Coffee Societies and 144 coffee factories in Murang’a tasked Nyakera to guide the sector the way he has successfully helped the tea farmers across the country.
The move was a major boost for Nyakera who is seeking for Muranga governorship since Agriculture is a fully devolved function and his experience and know how, if imported to the devolved unit will bring money into peoples’ pockets.
During the forum, farmers vowed to support Nyakera’s gubernatorial ambitions and in return tasked him with policies that will not only boost the coffee production but also earn them better income.
Nyakera offered to boost production from the current 1.44kgs to 15kgs per bush, promising that the County government will hire 1 extension officer per factory to walk coffee farmers through the coffee calendar and the coffee revitalization journey.
At the same time, Nyakera’s administration would establish Kilimo Fund which will provide input credit to farmers while the establishment of Kahawa Enterprise Fund would allocate each of the 44 coffee societies with Sh10m to fund.
“The funds will cater for water tanks installations and repair, drying beds, repair of machinery and fermentation tanks, installation of eco-pulpers, connect all factories to electricity and build security features at all factories,” Nyakera told the coffee farmers.
The gubernatorial aspirant added that his administration will assist all factories to roast coffee and sell their coffee locally and will see to it that there is creation of a revolving fund to provide working capital facility for operations of coffee societies.
“We shall restructure and reorganize Murang’a Coffee Union to deal with all county coffee issues and create Murang’a Coffee Milling Company and provide support for factories experiencing financial strain due to legacy indebtedness and provide them with legal assistance to resolve all their issues,” he said.
At the same time Nyakera said his government would assist ever society set up a seedling nursery to ensure farmers can access the right seedlings at low prices.
“We will also encourage private nurseries to motivate youth and women into this business line and seek better market for Murang’a coffee,” Nyakera added.
As the new patron Nyakera committed to assist the new chapter fully register and create internal structures to enrich Murang’a coffee farmers. He also committed to provide 39 societies with drying beds.