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Govt announces Ksh6.8B debt waiver for coffee farmers

Tuesday, June 11th, 2024 18:55 | By
Coffee beans.
Coffee beans. PHOTO/Pexels

The government has announced a waiver for Ksh6.8 billion debt owed by coffee farmers.

This follows a meeting of the Cabinet held at State House, Nairobi, chaired by President William Ruto.

"In a bid to pivot the economy towards a sustained turnaround as set out in the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA), Cabinet considered and approved a debt waiver for coffee farmers and other coffee sector reforms. Under this programme, the meeting sanctioned the write-off of historical debts amounting to Ksh6.8 billion owed by coffee farmers nationwide," a cabinet despatch stated.

To aid the settlement of debts accrued by farmers, coffee cooperatives, saccos, and other creditors are required to submit to the Ministry for Cooperatives, within seven days, a list of all farmers who owe them money, along with all supporting documents for verification and processing of payment.

During the meeting, the cabinet called on parliament to fast-track the enactment of corporate governance reforms for cooperatives to establish institutional safeguards that will enhance accountability and transparency, including the requirement that the process of borrowing by cooperatives henceforth is only authorised by farmers during annual or extraordinary general meetings.

The government has also announced a move that will see the New Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU) undergo modernisation.

"Additionally, to address the concerns on the quality of coffee parchments, modern eco-pulpers will be established in all emerging coffee growing areas for primary processing, enhancing efficiency and sustainability of the sub-sector," the despatch added.

"These interventions, which will additionally encompass improved coffee seedlings propagation under the Coffee Research Institute (CRI) are aimed at enhancing the production of coffee to the 200,000 metric tonnes target by 2027. Overall these interventions seek to reposition Kenya's coffee on the global stage as one of the nation’s premier exports."

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