Kenya says coffee sector reforms on course to boost export earnings
Monday, April 6th, 2020
Kenya is on the final leg of implementing sweeping reforms in the coffee sector to boost competitiveness on the global market and to improve farmers' livelihoods, an official said on Friday.
Peter Munya, cabinet secretary for agriculture, livestock, fisheries and cooperatives, said the government has completed a master plan to revitalize the coffee sector and to enhance its contribution to economic development.
"We plan to launch the coffee sector restructuring plan later this month and have set aside 1 billion shillings (about 10 million U.S. dollars) to facilitate its implementation," Munya said.
"The phase one of this plan includes refurbishing coffee factories, infrastructure development and reorganization of farmer cooperatives," he said during a tour of a state-owned milling plant in Nairobi.
Streamlining key value chains in the coffee sector has gone overdrive, Munya said.
"Our goal is to sort out governance challenges in the coffee sub-sector by reorganizing cooperatives and the auction market to ensure there is transparency and accountability," he said.
The government has finalized the legal process of setting up a revolving fund to bail out coffee farmers amid challenges like market volatility, pests, diseases and negative impacts of climate change, Munya said.
"The government will also procure and distribute subsidized fertilizer to coffee farmers to boost yields. We will also refurbish warehouses to improve the storage of coffee beans and reduce post-harvest losses," he said.
Kenya aims to boost coffee output from the current 40,000 metric tons to 100,000 metric tons.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2019 announced the establishment of a 30 million dollar revolving fund to cushion more than 700,000 small-holder coffee farmers from bottlenecks like delayed payments and high cost of production. (Xinhua)