In Summary
  • Tough laws have been proposed at the Nyeri County Assembly to regulate the growing, sale and marketing of coffee.
  • Mr Mbaabu said he was part of a group of leaders who pushed for the formation of a taskforce to investigate the exploitation of coffee farmers.

A section of farmers in Meru have called for a probe into claims that some Coffee chiefs were being bribed by private millers to accept low prices.

This follows a report that private millers have also been degrading coffee making farmers to earn lower prices.

Speaking to the Nation in Meru, Mr Robert Kaaria called on the county government to enact coffee laws that would help revive the sector.

He said the Meru county government should borrow a leaf from Nyeri which has proposed laws guiding coffee production.

Tough laws have been proposed at the Nyeri County Assembly to regulate the growing, sale and marketing of coffee.

Contravention of the proposed laws will attract a fine of up to Sh10 million or imprisonment for a term of not less than three years.

“We want the claims of coffee management boards’ receiving commissions to deliver coffee to low paying millers to be investigated. This might be affecting several societies across the county,” Mr Kaaria said.

The farmers also want the county government to actively involve agricultural extension officers in training of coffee farmers.

However, Gikongoro Coffee Society chairman Ginson Mbaabu distanced himself from the scheme saying his board has been involving members in decisions on the miller.

Mr Mbaabu said he was part of a group of leaders who pushed for the formation of a taskforce to investigate the exploitation of coffee farmers.

He said the factory board’s choice of miller is advised by tariffs and other benefits for the farmer.

Mr Mbaabu said some of the farmers who had cited Gikongoro among societies affected by the scheme were not active members.

“Our prices are the best compared to other coffee societies,” he said.