As an agribusiness exploit, coffee farming has been neglected by farmers attributable to an endless list of problems. It, therefore, means that these instances have led to the low production of coffee. This is despite the fact that the Kenyan coffee is among the produce ranked as among the best quality. However, with efforts being coordinated by Anne Waiguru – the Kirinyaga Governor – the various issues bedeviling the coffee sector in the county could be a thing of the past. The Kirinyaga Governor has laid down a plan that will see the coffee farmers in the county reap from an increase in cash as regards processing. Anne Waiguru’s government has been exploring a possibility that will see the setting up of a coffee processing plant in the county. As per Anne Waiguru’s sentiments, the county leadership has already met with foreign and local investors as regards the plan. Besides, the county has also met with coffee roasters and importers from South Korea. These forums and meetings are aimed at scaling up the efforts to set up a coffee processing plant in the county. According to the county, the venture of setting up such a plant will be done through public private partnerships, otherwise known as the PPPs. The move will be a viable tactic to re-invent and rescue a sector that has been plagued by fluctuating prices and poor yields.
Furthermore, Anne Waiguru indicates that the Kirinyaga County government intends to come up with a coffee tasting festival. Essentially, such a festival would be ideal in marketing Kirinyaga as a county with vast potential regarding the production of coffee. Moreover, the move will showcase the county as a leading producer of premium coffee. Besides, such a venture will attract foreign and local personalities with interests in the production of coffee. With time, it will snowball into a matrix that enhances the image of Kirinyaga County as a potent producer of quality coffee. Together with the efforts being applied by Anne Waiguru’s government, such marketing endeavors will spur the interests of other international actors to scale up the production of quality coffee in the county. The outcome will be manifested in the form of increased returns on the part of the coffee farmers. You can bet that the economic fortunes that will be heralded by Waiguru’s efforts shall have far-reaching positive impacts on the coffee farmers.
Furthermore, the governor aims at increasing the extension services offered to the coffee farmers. Crucially, when such services are offered, the quality of the beans would go up due to a combination of the right combination as regards the management of the crop. In essence, when such a situation is coupled with favourable climate and availability of fertilizers, farmers will have every reason to smile. Practically, Waiguru’s determinations are meant to make sure that the coffee farmers in Kirinyaga County get the requisite support in order to gain from their produce. Such an action would be connected to the spurring of socio-economic trends in the county for the better. By uplifting these farmers through the necessary support, it provides a mechanism that goes beyond the financial gain. It should be understood that when such a plan goes through, it will increase the capacity of the entire county by improving the social cadres associated with the coffee farming undertaking.
Besides, the governor plans to have a stakeholders’ forum with other top coffee importing nations. It, therefore, means that if the mooted plan goes through, coffee farmers in Kirinyaga County may be able to access large markets such as the United States, Germany, Belgium, Japan, Italy, as well as France. With fifteen coffee cooperatives and more than four hundred estates under coffee, Kirinyaga County has the potential to post positive returns for the farmers. Such a situation is buttressed by the reality that the county has an area of more than forty five thousand acres under the coffee plant. Within the scope of such a reality, the vast potential could be further augmented by the positive undertakings by the governor’s administration. Coffee farming has a great significance in Kirinyaga County given that many farmers depend on the produce. With these farmers relying on the coffee farming ventures to educate their children and provide for their families, Anne Waiguru’s efforts would be met with lots of acknowledgments from the farmers.
Practically, the move to set up such a plant will have various positive impacts. First, the move will scale up the aspect of value addition as regards the production of the coffee produce. Secondly, it shall enhance and scale up the returns for the coffee farmers. With such a plant being in the county, farmers will not part with the finances meant for transportation of the product as well as saving costs from the many processes associated with a far-away processing plant. It is instructive to note that most farmers decry the low returns from the produce. In essence, most of these farmers have embarked on uprooting the valuable plant and replaced it with other agribusiness ventures. Thirdly, the processing plant will spur the rate of employment to the hordes of jobless youths across the county. Overall, all these undertakings by Governor Anne Waiguru are in line with Jubilee’s agenda.
By: Dan Mwangi