Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria has vowed to wage war on coffee cartels, which he blames for the collapse of the industry in the country.
Speaking to the Nation on his new year agenda, Mr Wa Iria accused security managers of colluding with the cartels to dictate prices and steal from factories.
The governor said, therefore, that his administration will come up with measures to eliminate brokers for farmers to benefit.
He also said the county will employ new managers at all factories and that they will work with the Murang'a government to revive the sector.
“I have been focusing on the milk sector but since the processing factory will be up and running by this week, I no shift to the coffee sector. The new managers will help the factories rise from their knees and give good returns to the farmers,” he said.
Regarding the milk sector, he noted that the price of a packet has increased from Sh18 to Sh35 for his administration’s intervention.
He expressed optimism that the success will be replicated in the coffee sector.
The county boss further said Murang'a will purchase modern processing equipment to enhance value addition.
“Berries will be milled according to grades so that farmers with the best grades get good returns. This will encourage the others to follow suit,” he said.
About 144 coffee factories in the county are grappling with the theft of berries.
Mr Muchoki Mwangi, a farmer in Gaturi, welcomed the governor’s announcements, saying interventions are needed.
“For far too long we have been exploited by cartels. Any idea to wipe them out is welcome. We are desperate so will embrace any idea that will see us get the fruits of our labour,” he said.