Farmers in Nyeri cut down coffee trees due to poor payment from marketers, paves way for horticulture and dairy farming
When coffee farmer Mwangi Gathinji cleared almost half an acre of his plantation, it was a relief to him and he has no regrets for his action.
To him, this would now open doors to new ventures and good tidings as the cash crop had only resulted in shattered dreams due to poor remuneration.
He is not alone as scores of other farmers have cut down their trees due to poor payment from their marketers in Mukurwe-ini, Nyeri.
Spurred by anger, the farmers said they would rather engage in horticulture than invest in a crop that fetches little or zero returns for them.
Samuel Muritu, a farmer who cut down his 150 bushes, said he had planted napier grass for his dairy cows as they earn him a better monthly income than coffee, for which he had to wait a whole year for payment.
“Rearing cows has helped me achieve a lot more than with coffee,” he said.
In a month, Mr Muritu earns Sh25,000 from his three cows, which produce 18 to 25 litres of milk per day that he sells for Sh34.
The farmers, who delivered their produce to Tambaya Coffee Factory, which is run by Rumukia Coffee Society, received payment rates early this week, something that triggered protests over the amounts.
Another farmer who cut down his 106 bushes, Geofrey Mwangi, said despite the high input costs, the crop yielded low returns.
“During harvesting time, I spent Sh15,000 on labour but the payment I got will only be enough to cover my factory loan,” he said.
Tambaya Coffee Factory farmers got Sh17 in net pay after an advance payment of Sh20 in May through their marketer Tropical Farm Management.
Early this month, coffee worth Sh20 million was stolen by a gang of thieves who made away with about 40 bags of parchment.
The farmers had agreed with their marketer that their payment should be between Sh80 and Sh100, which would earn them Sh60 net.
Early this year, the Nyeri County Assembly proposed a law that curtailed farmers from cutting down their crop without giving their cooperatives three months’ notice.
The Nyeri County Coffee Bill was sponsored by Kibira Ngunyi, chairman of the Agriculture Committee.
According to Mr Ngunyi, the law was not passed as the farmers rejected it, saying they would rather wait for the recommendations of the Presidential taskforce on the coffee sector.
By IRENE MUGO
Hits: 333https://farmerstrend.co.ke/farmers-nyeri-cut-coffee-trees-due-poor-payment-marketers-paves-way-horticulture-dairy-farming/https://i1.wp.com/farmerstrend.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/NyeriPhoto.jpg?fit=600%2C400&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/farmerstrend.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/NyeriPhoto.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1#TrendingCoffee Farmingchallenges of coffee farming in kenya,coffee farming in kenya,coffee farming zones in kenya,coffee farms in kenya,farmer slushing down coffee tree,Nyeri County Assembly,Nyeri County Coffee Bill,Rumukia Coffee Society,Tambaya Coffee FactoryWhen coffee farmer Mwangi Gathinji cleared almost half an acre of his plantation, it was a relief to him and he has no regrets for his action. To him, this would now open doors to new ventures and good tidings as the cash crop had only resulted in shattered dreams...#FarmersTrendJohn Bujufarmerstrend@gmail.comAdministratorI am a web enthusiast, writer and blogger. I always strive to be passionate about my work. I started my work at the beginning of 2013 by engaging myself with detail reading and exchanging information regarding farming with others. Since then things and times have changed, but one thing remains the same and that is my passion for helping and educating Kenyan farmers, building a successful blog and delivering quality content to the readers. The particular interests that brought me in the world of blogging are gardening, farming and livestock.Farmers#Trend