KNA Gusii Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union (GCFCU) together with its affiliated cooperatives have asked the national and county governments to provide them with modern eco-pulper machines to improve the quality of coffee that is processed.
Speaking to KNA at his office in Kisii town yesterday, Human Resources Manager for GCFCU Duke Nyagemi said they are still milling coffee using obsolete machines that produce low-quality coffee.
The manager noted they lacked a modern weighbridge to help them weigh coffee that is delivered from twenty-one Coffee Societies in Kisii county despite the county government issuing a directive that all societies should deliver their produce to the union for milling and marketing.
“We are recycling coffee husks to make charcoal. We are currently depending on the sun to dry charcoal and this area is prone to rain. We need a drier to boost our drying process especially during the rainy periods,” said Nyagemi.
He also requested the county government to secure them a market outside the county for their value-added coffee to enable the farmers pocket good prices for their produce.
Regarding the new Coffee Bill 2021, Nyagemi said the proposal for a five percent deduction from proceeds of coffee sales to support operations of cooperative societies is not a workable solution since much operations and a bit of maintenance is done at the society level.
“You cannot compare our farmers to the other side of Central, others are not doing coffee as a business. They are not applying chemicals and fertilizers to their coffee trees hence less produce from the farm,” he affirmed.
George Memba, Secretary Manager at Gesarara Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Society said that societies have huge debts that have been piling up for years now and asked the government to offset these debts and revive the operations of the societies.
Memba supported the outlawing of marketing agents from advancing loans to coffee farmers as proposed in the Coffee Bill 2021 saying it will protect farmers’ money once their produce is sold.
Kivon Nyaanga, a coffee farmer at Getuanyansi Cooperative Society urged the government to provide them with incentives and subsidies to help them practice good coffee husbandry at their farms.