Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has put cartels operating in the coffee, tea and milk subsectors on notice, saying he is committed to uprooting them to ensure farmers reap from their produce.
Speaking at Three Steers Hotel in Meru town for the mega National Coffee Summit on how to revamp the subsector, the DP who was tasked by President William Ruto to spearhead reforms in the sector urged legislators to pass laws that favour the coffee subsector.
“We have convened a special summit of all coffee stakeholders in Meru to come up with practical interventions to put money into the pockets of our farmer. “This national brainstorming session in Meru will help us return the sector to the profitable path,” DP Gachagua announced, adding that there will be other conferences for tea, macadamia, avocado, and khat.
“I got this job just the other day. I don’t want to lose it. Anyone who will stand between me and the coffee farmers will not be spared”.
The two-day summit brings together government officials, lawmakers, and governors from the coffee growing zones, experts, marketers, and roasters in the chain among others.
“It is now time to act on this noble challenge to return glory to the once profitable subsector of our economy. It’s a pledge we made to our people. It’s one we will do everything to fulfill,” Gachagua said.
The DP has meanwhile told off those opposed to the Finance Bill and defended it saying it contains some plausible ways for the government to generate money for the country’s development projects such as the construction of roads.
The DP dismissed Azimio leader Raila Odinga’s list of ten alternatives he had proposed to unburden Kenyans instead of the proposed new taxes. Speaking during the Coffee Stakeholders Summit in Meru County, Gachagua said Raila had a chance to propose the measures during the handshake government.
Speaking at the summit, Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria pledged his ministry’s commitment to ensure the coffee auction up and running.
“We are working to expand value addition as well as ensure we have proper and secure warehouses for high quality exports”, CS Kuria said.
He urged the Deputy President to consider proposals to move the Coffee auction to the next level.
” My ministry has the commodity exchange and we are fast racking it. We need just a little intervention to operationalize commodity exchange, so that the Commodity exchange becomes the first parallel coffee auction, so that at least participants can compare which coffee exchange they want to participate in”, CS Kuria stated.
The summit comes to an end on Saturday, June 10, 2023.