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Coffee production drops by 8 000 tonnes this year

10 December 2014, 10:04 Joseph Njung'eh

Nyeri - Coffee output in Central Kenya has dropped by 20 percent this year, a coffee marketer has reported.

Coffee Management Services (CMS) Managing Director, Kamau Kuria attributed the drop to poor management of cooperative societies which delayed to pay farmers.

He added that the decline was also due to coffee berry disease, delayed supply of fertilizer and uncertainty in the market among other factors.

The output dropped to 39 000 tonnes from 47 000 tonnes last year, with Kuria reiterating that the delayed payments killed farmers’ morale to produce more coffee this year.

Speaking at Central Kenya Coffee Mills in Karatina during farmers’ field day, Kuria urged the cooperatives to equip farmers with the necessary knowledge in order to increase production.

He further commended Nyeri Governor, Nderitu Gachagua’s initiative of helping coffee farmers to get the best prices for their produce.

“The Governor’s job is recommendable. He wants Nyeri coffee farmers to get high prices for their hard work,” said Kuria.

He said CMS was partnering with County governments for better pay.

However, Kuria slammed the Governor claiming that he was forcing the farmers and cooperatives to join his initiative.

“Famers should be allowed to sell their produce to buyers of their choice,” said Kuria.

CMS deals with coffee pulping, milling, marketing and offering agricultural advice to more than 35 000 coffee farmers from Kiambu, Embu, Nyeri, Kirinyaga and Embu counties.

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