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World Bank gives grant to coffee farmers

20 May 2013, 14:15 Arap Yego

Mt. Elgon - The future of coffee farmers in Mt. Elgon district looks bright after they received a grant of KES 5 million from the World Bank, for the construction of a new coffee factory in the area.

The disbursement that will see the construction of Kitaban Coffee Factory in Kapsokwony Division, has been channeled through Western Kenya Community Driven Development and Flood Mitigation Program (WKCDD-FMP) under the Ministry of Special Programmes.

Addressing coffee farmers during an Annual General Meeting at Kapsokisio Farmers Co-operative Society, Mt. Elgon WKCDD-FMP coordinator, Rogers Ngeywa said the allocation is part of the total KES 8 million budgeted for the completion of the new branch that is to be affiliated to Kapsokisio Coffee factory with the contractor set to commence work anytime soon.

Ngeywa further disclosed plans by World Bank, that he said are at advanced stage, to construct another coffee factory in Kaptama
division within the same district, noting that the proposal for the construction has already been approved for funding.

Factory Chairman Barnabas Kayos applauded the move saying it would help ease pressure on the factory that he noted currently operates beyond capacity as it serves the entire district.

Kapsokisio factory delivered 322, 867Kgs of grade 1 beans, highly prized by roasters for use in blending others, to the millers which has managed to fetch over KES 8 million up to March this year even as members decried poor returns this season.

The director of  Eldoret-based CMS Millers, Boniface Wekesa moved to pacify the farmer’s price worries by blaming the fluctuation on among other things external factors such as bad weather and uncertainties that surrounded the just concluded general elections.

He said many direct buyers withdrew from the market forcing local millers to auction the produce in international market where it was
subjected to fierce competition.

Members present at the meeting appealed to the government to assist the factory install modern machines to help in processing beans with
high quality rating to trade favorably in the world market.

On his part, area District Co-operatives Officer Willys Opemi urged the famers to scale up of production so as to exploit the additional
capacity that is to come with the new facilities.

The Officer further challenged the members to embrace transparency in the management of the society in order to attract more investment in the future.

The District Co-operative Officer directed that the election of new Board of Directors  be held on 7th June 2013.

He told members that the current management Board of directors have been in the office for  the maximum two consecutive terms,  hence there's need for election as mandated by the Co-operative Constitution.

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