Economy

KPCU disburses cherry fund against court order

kpcu

Kenya Planters Co-operative Union (KPCU) has started distribution of the Sh3 billion advance cherry fund to coffee farmers despite a court order stopping the exercise. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Kenya Planters Co-operative Union (KPCU) has started distribution of the Sh3 billion advance cherry fund to coffee farmers despite a court order stopping the exercise, putting the executives on a collision course with the judiciary.
  • Last week the high court stopped the New KPCU from administering the funds, but Agriculture CS Peter Munya said disbursement of funds has started and will continue, adding that there is a cartels that is trying to stop the revival of the ailing coffee sector.

Kenya Planters Co-operative Union (KPCU) has started distribution of the Sh3 billion advance cherry fund to coffee farmers despite a court order stopping the exercise, putting the executives on a collision course with the judiciary.

Last week the high court stopped the New KPCU from administering the funds, but Agriculture CS Peter Munya said disbursement of funds has started and will continue, adding that there is a cartels that is trying to stop the revival of the ailing coffee sector.

“Distributing the funds has begun after we received all the funds from the Treasury. I want to warn the cartels who are trying to frustrate our efforts to know that we are not going to stop,” said Mr Munya.

The CS said some farmers have opted to take fertiliser from KPCU instead of getting the cash as part of the loan, with more than 4,500 bags having been issued.

New KPCU will also continue milling coffee, Mr Munya said, adding he was impressed by the progress as the plant was getting the produce from many regions.

Seven people went to court a fortnight ago, challenging the organisation’s mandate to handle the fund, mill and market farmer’s coffee.

The petitioners also wanted the Agriculture and Food Authority, which regulates produce under the coffee directorate, not to issue KPCU with the milling licence. However, the CS said the cooperative has received documents for milling and marketing.

The government has raised an additional Sh1.5 billion for operationalising coffee regulations and automating KPCU, he said. The cherry advance targets helping farmers to meet financial obligations after harvesting.