By Allan Wanjiku
Kenya Tea Sector Lobby group has threw its support to the proposed Coffee Bill 2020 that seek to offer a lifeline to the ailing coffee sector.
Through chairperson Irungu Nyakera, the lobby group says a win for a tea sector is also a win for a coffee sector given that both sectors suffer similar challenges raging from poor yields, low competitiveness, lack of corporate governance and mismanagement by cooperative societies.
Mr Nyakera notes that similar to sector, coffee farmers are facing a myriad of challenges that require strategic industry interventions to make the sector globally competitive and increase returns to farmers.
The Muranga son who has been vocal against poor pay and bad governance by KTDA in tea sector says the Coffee Bill 2020 seeks to improve the fortunes of a coffee farmers through various proposals that will streamline critical areas in the coffee value chain, production, processing, sales and payments to farmers.
“The bill proposes the establishment of a direct settlement system into which all sales will be made and payment made directly to farmers without involving middlemen,” Mr Nyakera says.
He adds that under the proposed law, coffee sales will be done through coffee auctions and that farmers will directly appoint their millers.
He notes that the proposed cherry fund will go along away in helping farmers to better their produce while banning of marketing agents will put more money into farmers’ pockets.
However, Mr Nyakera wants coffee farmers and stakeholders to submit their inputs to the bill before the slated November 18 deadline.