COFFEE SOCIETIES in Nyeri want the county government to help them put up a Sh130 million modern warehouse to store their produce.

They said it has become difficult to access loans from commercial banks to build the structure.

“The county government should come up with revolving funds to assist the farmers because the interest rates in banks are too high and farmers cannot afford,” said Joseph Gathua of Othaya coffee society, “The modern warehouse will store coffee from farmers in the entire county.”

They want the warehouse to accommodate a laboratory for research on how to improve productivity and the quality of coffee and liquoring of the coffee from different coffee factories.

“With the facility, we can help store about 50,000 bags of coffee from all coffee factories in the county,” he said.
Othaya Coffee Society acquired a grinding and roasting machine worth Sh6million that can process 2,000 kilogrammes of parchment per hour.

“But we do not have a storage facility and once our coffee is milled we get a lorry to transport it to Nairobi immediately,” he said.

They also want the warehouse to be equipped with a weighing bridge that will weigh their produce and record automatically.

“We are also trying to ensure our records are digitised as well as improve our book and record keeping,” said Mr Gathua.

The farmers also want the county government to support them with technical and extension officers to train and empower them on the best agricultural practices which will enhance production.

Agriculture department in the county has been grappling with a shortage of extension officers which has been blamed to low productivity in both dairy and crop farming.

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And with erratic weather conditions, farmers said they cannot continue relying on rains.

BY — IRENE MUGO

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