Coffee mills in Nyeri to get Sh100m upgrade in a bid to boost farmers’ earnings.
Mathira, Othaya and Mukurwe-ni mills are earmarked for renovation.
The Nyeri County Government has allocated Sh100 million to upgrade coffee mills in a bid to boost farmers’ earnings.
Governor Nderitu Gachagua said the upgrade would ensure the security of coffee at the factories and curb cartels.
“Milling your own coffee without depending on external millers will help double your earnings,” he told coffee farmers on Saturday.
Last year, the county boss said he would push for the withdrawal of all licences issued to mills. He has, however, changed his stance after holding talks with the managers of the mills.
Mathira, Othaya and Mukurwe-ni mills are listed as beneficiaries of the upgrade proposed in the 2016/2017 financial budget.
According to Othaya Coffee Farmers Cooperative Society Chairman James Gathuo, the mills do not have secure storage facilities and well-equipped laboratories. “We have temporary storage facilities but they get broken into and coffee bags stolen,” he said.
Mr Gachagua warned factory managers against colluding with cartels, which he has aggressively fought.
“The days of selfish managers frustrating coffee farmers are numbered. We are launching investigations into claims of corruption against some cooperatives,” he said.
At the same time, a farmers’ association has written to President Uhuru Kenyatta, asking him to make public a coffee report prepared by a commission he appointed.
The association complained that the coffee cartels had continued to exploit farmers.