Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has asked farmers to be patient as the government works on policies to drive out cartels that have been profiting from their hard work and sweat.
Speaking in Othaya, Nyeri County on Sunday, Gachagua said the government will not relent on reforms, noting that a key cartel of four individuals is deeply entrenched in the subsector and is even trying to sabotage the government’s plan by creating an artificial crisis in the coffee industry.
The Deputy President added that proposed amendments to various laws that regulate the coffee business will soon be tabled in Parliament.
“The cartels are entrenched and they are few. They buy coffee at throwaway prices and sell it abroad at exorbitant prices. Changes are on the way. An amendment to the law will soon be submitted to parliament. It proposes, among other things, that if you are a coffee grinder, you cannot be a marketer or a seller. It is one man, one job,” said the DP.
Gachagua urged MPs to support the amendment in order to uplift farmers.
Gachagua added that the cartels were creating an artificial crisis in the sub sector as a method of resisting the reforms.
“They have banded together and are trying to create an artificial crisis and propaganda that Kenyan coffee has been boycotted because of the reforms, which is a lie. They are moving from one office to another.
“I urge the farmers to be patient because this is not an easy or simple struggle. A struggle that is not easy and not for the faint of heart. It is hard. They are boycotting coffee to sabotage the reforms,” he explained.
Gachagua also said the government is working on measures to increase the farm-gate price of milk to Sh60 per litre.
The DP further dismissed reports of differences in the leadership of the Mt Kenya region in Kenya Kwanza.
“We have no structural cracks or differences as a community. The driving force of the Mt Kenya region is unity and hard work. The region will remain united behind President William Ruto,” said Gachagua.