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Munya claims Co-op officers barring access to coffee fund

munya

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has alleged that managers of some co-operatives societies are blocking members from applying for cheaper loans from the Sh3billion national Cherry Advance Fund, frustrating investment in farming of the crop.
  • He said some officials colluded with commercial banks to profiteer through costly loans to farmers.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has alleged that managers of some co-operatives societies are blocking members from applying for cheaper loans from the Sh3billion national Cherry Advance Fund, frustrating investment in farming of the crop.

He said some officials colluded with commercial banks to profiteer through costly loans to farmers.

"We have noticed with concern that some farmers have been shying away from applying for the revolving fund, but we know what the problem is and we will take action," he told a forum in Mathira, Nyeri, called to discuss the newly published Coffee Bill.

"My office will crack the whip and dissolve those boards because we have noticed the reason the farmers are not borrowing is because some society management are refusing to sign the forms... it is unacceptable," he added.

CherryAdvance Fund was announced by President Kenyatta is 2018 and is aimed at helping farmers meet financial obligations after harvesting crop.

This will facilitate farmers meet their financial obligations after harvesting as well as effectively support other production activities such as pruning and application of agrochemicals. Previously, farmers had to wait for months after harvesting to receive payments which would expose them to high interest loans of as much as 20 percent interest rate from Saccos and other commercial lenders.

The fund is managed by the new Kenya Planters Co-operative Union (KPCU) and individual farmers or estate owners can access the money as long as they are members of a registered cooperative and member of new KPCU respectively.

Normally, farmers harvest and sell crop through co-operatives and have to wait for more than a month before payment.

But the cash injection will change this. The government will later recover the funds after farmers sell the produce by deducting the amount advanced plus a three percent interest rate.