A coffee co-operative society in Othaya will start selling its crop directly to the United States, Switzerland, Korea and Norway.
Othaya Coffee Farmers Co-operative Society secured the markets with the help of the Kenya Co-operative Coffee Exporters. Society chairman Newton Nderitu said the farmers have started selling the commodity under the deal signed last year.
“We are expecting good returns that will motivate our farmers to put more effort in coffee farming which had declined drastically a few years ago,” Mr Nderitu said during the society’s AGM.
He asked farmers to increase production in order to satisfy the increasing demand for coffee.
The society produced 1.7 million kilogrammes of coffee last year, a decrease from the previous year because of adverse weather. Mr Nderitu said a few farmers also neglected their coffee bushes while coffee hawking led to waste.
“Farmers were paid Sh15 per kilogramme but with these new markets, farmers would be able to earn more,” said Mr Nderitu.
He said that other countries such as China, France and Germany have expressed interest in buying the society’s beans. Mr Nderitu said the co-operative would computerise its 19 coffee factories in Othaya by the end of this year.
This would enable members to be served at their various factories, reducing the cost of travelling to the headquarters in Othaya town. Such steps, said Mr Nderitu, would lessen the burden of farmers, majority of whom are old and strain to walk long distances for services.