NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 9 – Coffee farmers will soon be paid on the spot for cherry delivered to factories once a report presented to President Uhuru Kenyatta is implemented.
The report, whose implementation will start in the next few weeks, has recommended that coffee farmers should be paid at least 40 percent of the prevailing price on the spot for cherry they deliver.
Depending on the market prices, the minimum advance payments farmer will get for a kilo of cherry will be Sh15, the report recommends.
Besides the rule on prompt payments, the report by Presidential National Task Force on Coffee Sub-Sector Reforms recommends a subsidy programme to cater for smallholder and small estate coffee farmers.
The subsidy will be offered as a package including fertiliser, planting materials for new varieties, capacity building and training farmers and rehabilitation of at least 500 coffee pulping stations.
The report also recommends debt waiver for cooperative societies, SACCOs and unions to enable the recovery of the sub-sector.
The task force report was presented to President Kenyatta at State House Thursday.
President Kenyatta said he wants to see a revived coffee sub sector where it is the farmer who benefits and not the broker alone.
“We are keen to see coffee come back and that will be through restoring the trust of farmers in coffee,” he said.
The report makes several recommendations including legal reform of the coffee sub sector.
It calls for the amendment of several other laws impacting on coffee sub sector and also recommends incorporation of the Nairobi Coffee Exchange into a public limited company.
The report also recommends a subsidy programme for the sector that will cost Sh1.21 billion in 2016/2017 financial year and Sh2.47 billion in the next two financial years.
The task force has recommended immediate steps should be undertaken to make coffee farming attractive to the youth since the average coffee farmer now is 60 years.
Prompt payment is one of the quick ways of making the youth attracted to farming of coffee, the report says.
One other way of increasing the involvement of the youth in the coffee sub sector is to support value addition initiatives such as street coffee vending, coffee cafes and youth-owned coffee house start-ups.
The task-force also proposed the Catering Levy paid to Tourism Fund be used to train youth on coffee matters.
The report says that more emphasis should be placed on marketing Kenyan coffee to reposition the product globally and locally.
It proposed that at least Sh200 million should be set aside to market Kenyan coffee with input also from county governments.
The task force has also recommended the modernisation of the Nairobi Coffee Exchange and has also called for government support for institutions dealing with coffee.
The report, whose recommendations will be rolled out next month, proposes Sh350 million for institutional support in the 2016/2017 financial year.