Nestle’s ongoing investment and training scheme in Kenya is picking up pace as the company will be making further attempts encourage women and teenagers into the coffee farming business, and to apply for strategic leadership roles within key cooperatives and agricultural societies.
According to the Kenyan website Coast Week, this is their second phase of a multi-year policy that, it is hoped, will bring about a higher level of gender equity in the sector and bring through a new generation to run the farms and work the fields in years to come.
For years coffee farmers and growers in the rural counties of Makueni and Machakos have had to put up with a poor infrastructure. With no modern facilities to use and a poor road network, people have been forced to travel, at their own cost, across the country to processing plants and specialist millers.
Obviously, this doesn’t come free and there are reports that some farmers have been priced out of the industry.
Costing Sh72 million, the brand new Kavutiri milling site in Embu County, Kenya, is hoping to become a focal point for the local coffee community.
Officially opened by Governor Martin Wambora last week, the processing facility has a working capacity of 2.8 tonnes per hour and could potentially employ around 200 people – if the estimated 110,000 farmers within travelling distance come and use the plant.
There’s trouble rumbling in Kenya – again.
Members of the Kenyan parliament have raised concerns about the payments provided by the government to some of the important agricultural areas, such as the famed Nyeri Country where some of the country’s best coffee is grown.
“We are seeing figures here,” began Mary Wambui, referencing the supposedly standardised payments, “but when you go to the ground it is a different thing.
Which country is currently producing the best coffee in the world?
Ethiopia? Getting closer….
Some protests in Kenya have taken a fiery turn after a number of incensed coffee farmers based in the Othaya district of the country burnt around 100 bags of freshly harvested coffee.
Police and other officials were trying to force them to sell the coffee to one particular milling and processing company.
According to reports that are doing the rounds, a new, ambitious plan has been laid out by the Kenyan government.
A senior official, speaking earlier this week, has stated that there is a movement to see the African country produce double the amount of coffee it does now, increasing output from 50,000 tonnes per annum to 100,000.
Reports emanating out of Kenya suggest that the national government has expressed cautious concerns that the country may lose their privileged position in the world’s coffee market because production levels are predicted to drop.
Currently, Kenya is producing in the region of 50,000 tonnes (metric) per year – a sharp decline from the nation’s peak of 130,000 tonnes which was achieved in the late 1980s.
The long-standing battle that has engulfed the reformed Kenya Planters’ Co-Operative Union has flared up again recently as coffee farmers petitioned the government to have one of its senior members investigated, stating that he is purposefully hampering the KPCU’s immediate growth.
Kenyan farmers want Patrick Musyimi to be investigated regarding a conflict of interest. Musyimi is the Commissioner for Cooperatives and also sits on the board of the Kenya Coffee Cooperative Exporters (KCCE), an organisation which actively competes with the KPCU.
A group from agitated and angry coffee farmers have attacked property and local businesses before moving onwards to a nearby coffee factory and setting that ablaze before fleeing upon the arrival of the police.
According to local reports the farmers are all predominantly affiliated with the Ramukia Co-operative, which is based in the Kenyan province of Mukurweini.