DP Gachagua asserts that there is no stopping the progress of coffee reforms.
Dp. Gachagua remarked while receiving different papers from stakeholders on Thursday at the Karen Official Residence in Nairobi. He mentioned that the reforms would bring back the crop’s former prestige and enhance the quality of life for farmers.
The Deputy President received several papers, including the Meru Coffee Reforms Conference Metrics and Roadmap, a preliminary sessional paper from 2023 focusing on producing high-quality coffee sustainably for food security and prosperity, the proposed coffee bill for 2023, the Draft Co-operatives Bill for 2023, and the 2020 Sessional paper outlining the National Co-operative Policy.
As part of various institutional changes, the government’s goals include revitalizing the Coffee Board of Kenya and the Coffee Research Institute. Additionally, efforts will be made to enhance the strength of the New Kenya Planters Co-operative Union (NEW KPCU).
“I thank you for your commitment and passion to get sustainable reforms in the coffee subsector with a view of restoring the dignity of the Kenyan coffee farmer. Because the subsector was working initially, I am so confident that we will succeed. We just need to know where the rain began to beat us and trace our steps to see what we were doing when we got it right so we can do something similar or even better to get better results,”he said.
He mentioned that certain suggestions would transform into legal regulations. He also noted that farmers would endorse the changes due to their active participation. In the upcoming two months, the farmers will rally behind us.
The Deputy President’s commitment to convene with agricultural committee members from the bicameral parliament next week indicates a determined initiation of enacting the suggested reforms. These changes primarily focus on the coffee value chain, involving both legislative and administrative aspects.
“I want to assure you of the commitment of the Ruto administration in pushing sustainable results in this subsector. These reforms are unstoppable and ourselves will not be intimidated. We will push on. The President and I are willing to take the political heat from any direction it comes from because we are persuaded that great leaders are defined by their ability and capacity to take hard decisions in the interest of their society and country,”Deputy President added.
Headed by Simon Chelugui, the Cabinet Secretary for Cooperatives & Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development, a group of involved parties submitted their findings and suggestions regarding the execution of resolutions put forth by coffee farmers in the earlier Meru conference to the Deputy President.
One of the suggestions from the team involves modifying the Coffee Bill, which is currently awaiting approval in Parliament, as well as making adjustments to the Cooperatives Act and enhancing the management of cooperative societies.
Additionally, they put forward a proposal to merge unprofitable coffee cooperative societies together.
“We must come up with economically viable cooperatives and threshold for election of leaders and officials of the societies. If we do not look at the Cooperative Act, we won’t get anywhere because there are serious governance issues,”The Dp.Said
Next month, the Deputy President plans to lead a delegation of coffee growers, stakeholders, and government officials to Colombia to participate in the Global Coffee Summit. During this event, they will also gain insights into the most effective methods for cultivating this commodity.
The Deputy President stated that the Ruto-led administration aims to elevate the annual coffee production from its present level of 50,000 metric tonnes to 200,000 metric tonnes in a span of five years.