About 2,600 shareholders of Othaya Coffee Mill in Nyeri South District yesterday received their share certificates as a way of ownership confirmation of the mill.
Speaking during the occasion at the mill which is located at Gatuya-ini area, Othaya Farmers Cooperative Society’s Chairman, Newton Mwangi said the coffee mill is owned by part of the society’s members who total more than 15,000 and it valued about KES. 6million.
He said that since the mill started its operations in June last year, more than 700 tonnes of coffee from the 19 coffee factories affiliated to the society, have been milled.
The chairman said the mill was purchased following frustrations and sabotage by some commercial millers who were contracted to mill the society’s coffee.
Mwangi said that the installation of the mill was a great step taken by the coffee farmers saying that the project has also attracted other cooperative societies in the country who are now aiming to purchase their mills.
He added that the mill is a major source of employment to the local people noting that during peak season the mill hires nearly 100 casual
workers supported by some society’s staff.
The chairman stated that various strategies have been laid down to take the society to the next phase of growth which include roasting of
coffee, packaging it and selling of the branded Othaya Coffee in supermarkets.
He added that they are intending to open coffee shops and kiosks for promotion of domestic coffee consumption.
Mwangi said they also intend to expand the capacity of the mill to be able to mill coffee for other cooperatives after they acquire a commercial milling licence adding that this will earn the mill additional income in the effort to make it sustaining and profitable.
Central Provincial Cooperative Officer (PCO), Stephen Mwenje who was one of the guests appealed to all members of the society to make
additional efforts to improve coffee production and quality since it will lead to higher returns and eventually get dividends from the mill.
The PCO commented that coffee production is very low especially in the central province and thus asked farmers to take the advantage of the
current favourable coffee prices.
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