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Coffee farmers in Othaya, Tetu to wait longer for dues

Tuesday August 27 2019

Gachatha Coffee Factory in Nyeri

Workers sort coffee parchment at Gachatha Coffee Factory in Nyeri. Coffee farmers in select cooperative societies in Nyeri will have to wait longer to receive their dues for last season’s harvest. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IRENE MUGO
By IRENE MUGO
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Coffee farmers in select cooperative societies in Nyeri will have to wait longer to receive their dues for last season’s harvest.

Farmers who deliver their produce to factories in Othaya and Tetu are the most affected as they wait for marketers and millers to complete the sale of coffee.

According to the managers of these factories, farmers cannot receive money until the entire produce is sold for them to determine how to distribute the money.

“Until we have the full amount of coffee we produced, we cannot release the payment rates,” said Mr James Gathua, the chairman of Othaya cooperative, the mother of 11 factories.

DIFFERENT DESTINATIONS

He added that the bulk of the coffee is headed to different destinations overseas.

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“At the auction, the prices were really low than we have seen in many years, so we opted to sell a lot of our coffee to international buyers,” he said.

At the Nairobi Coffee Exchange, he said a 50kg bag was selling at between Sh7,000 and Sh8,000 compared with Sh40,000 and Sh50,000 in the previous year for the premium qualities of coffee.

Terms dictated by the buyers are also to blame for the delay, Mr Gathua said.

“Some insist on depositing money for coffee upon arrival of their package. Most of the coffee is in transit and we cannot really tell when we will pay the farmers,” he said.