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Embu coffee farmers call for timely pay.

Coffee farmers in Embu asked cooperative societies to pay them on time and give subsidised inputs.

The farmers decried the high cost of farm inputs which eat into their profits.

Speaking at Kianjokoma Primary School during the International Cooperatives Day, the farmers said they face hardships of delayed pay and expensive chemicals.

They asked the government to consider subsiding farm inputs and investing in post-harvest equipment to reduce losses.

Catherine Wanja from Kyeni North ward said that the high cost of chemicals was a major drawback to better coffee production.

"There are so many challenges in the coffee sector today and poor returns. Why does coffee give us such low returns?" she said.

Further, the farmers said change of managerial style in the coffee sector was hurting businesses.

"How did our parents manage to pay our fees with coffee returns each payout yet their children were more than we have? Today we are not able to see our children through school using coffee money," Wanja said.

Embu county executive for Agriculture Anne Nyaga said a coffee milling factory had been opened at Kavuturi.

Nyaga said this would increase and better the coffee market as brokers would be eliminated.

Embu deputy governor David Kariuki said farmers will be paid according to the quality of their coffee.

"Good quality attracts good money and so the best coffee will attract the best markets and farmers will enjoy good pay," he said.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Jul 8, 2019
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