Another Shot in Arm of the Coffee Sector in Nakuru
Written by Jeremy Ogolla
Nakuru County is among the beneficiaries of Coffee Cherry Advance Revolving Fund Distribution(CCARF) program by the National Government.
The fund released to the tune of Kshs 6 billion is meant to provide affordable, sustainable and accessible cherry advance to smallholder coffee farmers across the Country. The target beneficiaries are farmers with land under coffee not exceeding 20 acres.
Cabinet Secretary for Co-operatives and Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises Simon Chelugui said the fund will be divvied up in such a way that will see coffee farmers receive Sh 80 up from Sh 20 per kilo, a hope to thousands of coffee growers across the country.
He spoke today at DCC Ground Bahati, where he launched the Nakuru County Coffee Cherry Advance Revolving Fund (CCARCF) distribution and coffee production sensitization programme.
“Today marks a milestone with the revival of Coffee sector to hit the homestretch with the Coffee Cherry Advance Revolving Fund (CCARCF) distribution and coffee production sensitization programme starting here in Bahati Sub County and then to be replicated to other coffee growing areas in Nakuru,” said Chelugui.
His sentiments were echoed by Patrick Kilemi, Cooperatives Permanent Secretary who said the government is committed to restoring the coffee sector to it’s former glory.
“We must work together with the New Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (New KPCU) and the county government of Nakuru in finding the expert extension officers to offer the services to the farmers in their farms to boost coffee production,” said Kilemi.
New KPCU was given the mandate to manage and administer the fund to coffee farmers as per the Public Finance Management Act (Coffee Cherry Advance Revolving Fund) Regulations 2020.
Members of Co-Operatives societies get to acess as well as registered Small holdr estate farmers affiliated with te New KPCU PLC get to access.
County Agriculture Executive Mr. Leonard Bor thanked the National Government for the initiative reiterating the County Government’s unwavering support for the program geared to support the coffee industry in Nakuru. He underscored Governor Susan Kihika’s commitment to partnering with the National Government to make the agricultural sector a lucrative venture for farmers.
His sentiments were echoed by Cooperatives Chief Officer Mr. Kibet Kurgat who said the County administration will soon launch the Cooperatives Revolving Fund, a low interest rate loan to cooperaives. Mr. Kurgat called on farmers to form cooperatives to easily access the fund which will help them to tap into the sector and enjoy its economic benefits.
Present were Hon. Irene Njoki (MP, Bahati), Newton Mwaura (CO, Agriculture), Josephine Ngandu (Director, Cooperatives) and Fredrick Owino (Director, Agriculture), among others.
The initiative is slated to continue to other neighboring counties like Baringo.
The move comes even as the County Government of Nakuru is keen on transforming Nakuru’s coffee industry by unlocking its full economic potential for the benefit of the residents. This can be achieved through capacity building, marketing and embracing new farming practices to mitigate challenges within the sector.