Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Monday evening convened a high-powered consultative meeting on Coffee Subsector Reforms and affirmed that the Government will not be distracted from improving the farmer’s earnings.
The meeting was attended by Head of Public Service Felix Koskei, Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui, Principal Secretary for Cabinet Affairs at the Office of the Deputy President Julius Korir, Principal Secretary for Trade Alfred K’Ombudo and Principal Secretary for Cooperatives and MSMEs Patrick Kilemi.
Others present are Crop Development Counterpart Kello Harsama, Chairman of the Parliamentary Caucus MP Duncan Maina Mathenge agencies of line ministries and farmers.
Gachagua said the Government will not back down until cartels and brokers are kicked out of the value chain.
The Government, the Deputy President told the meeting at his Harambee House Annex office, will not yield to pressure from cartels who are fighting back to continue dominating the subsector and exploit the farmers.
He said President William Ruto was keen to reforming key agricultural subsectors including Coffee, for the benefit of the farmer in line with the Kenya Kwanza Plan.
The Deputy President asked coffee farmers to be patient with the Government.
He assured farmers and the nation, that the proposed amendments to the law before the Senate, will help bring the much-needed changes in the subsector, and asked Members of Parliament to expedite the process.
He also expressed willingness by the Government to work with millers should they post better prices reflecting the effort of the farmer.
Koskei said the Government would not allow blackmail from cartels and brokers, saying it was time to rein them in since they had exploited the farmer for too long, causing all manner of suffering.
Chelugui said the Government was ready to seek alternatives to cushion coffee farmers.