Coffee farmers in Nyeri vow to boycott harvesting crop

Growers say they will take the action until President Kenyatta ends graft in sector.

Thursday January 14 2016

Coffee farmers attend a special general meeting of Barichu Farmers Co-operative Society in Nyeri on July 22, 2014. Some Nyeri coffee farmers have threatened to boycott harvesting the crop until the president tackles the corrupt cartels exposed by the Nation in 2015.  PHOTO | FILE |

Coffee farmers attend a special general meeting of the Barichu Farmers Co-operative Society in Nyeri on July 22, 2014. Some Nyeri coffee farmers have threatened to boycott harvesting the crop until the president tackles the corrupt cartels exposed by the Nation in 2015. PHOTO | FILE |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BONIFACE MWANGI
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Some Nyeri coffee farmers have vowed to make good on their threat to boycott harvesting their crop until President Uhuru Kenyatta ends corruption in the sector.

The farmers, who have held several closed-door meetings in the county, want the President to tackle the vice in the sector as soon as he ends his tour of the Coast region.

According to one of the coffee farmers from Mathira, Mr Harrison Munyi, several growers spread across the region have started the boycott.

NATIONAL MEETING

The farmers plan to hold a national meeting on Friday to deliberate on whether to proceed with the boycott.

“Everything is in place and we are ready to hold the meeting in Murang’a on Friday. However, this will depend on whether the President would have responded to our cries,” said Mr Munyi.

According to the farmers, the President had responded well to the land issue at the Coast and the protest by Evangelical churches in the country.

Now, they want the government, through Mr Kenyatta, to take action against coffee cartels that were exposed by the Nation last month.

Mr Augustine Wachira and Ms Teresia Waithera, who have both embarked on the boycott, are pleading with the President to handle the matter with the urgency it deserves.

“I am now 67 but I can clearly remember the days when coffee was known as black gold.

“This was the time my parents sent us to school using money from coffee sales. This isn’t the case anymore,” said Ms Waithera.

She said a coffee farmer is supposed to earn Sh300 or more per kilogramme of produce he or she delivers to a miller.

Even as some farmers have begun the boycott, the Nyeri County government said a better harvest had been recorded compared with last year.

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