Uhuru forms team to fix coffee sector troubles

A woman picks coffee berries at a Nyeri farm.  FILE
A woman picks coffee berries at a Nyeri farm: The newly formed taskforce has 20 days to develop a value chain that will overhaul the coffee sector. PHOTO | FILE 

President Uhuru Kenyatta has constituted a 19-member taskforce come up with solutions to problems that have been plaguing the coffee sector.

The newly formed taskforce, chaired by Professor Joseph Kieyah and assisted by Agriculture Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe, has 20 days to develop a value chain that will overhaul the coffee sector.

According to a Gazette Notice issued Friday, the team which will directly report to the President will have up to March 24 to collect views and come up with recommendations.

“The taskforce is to conduct consultations with coffee stakeholders undertake literature review to learn best practices utilized by farmers in other coffee producing countries and review the entire coffee value chain,” the terms of reference on the gazette notice read.

The move to address troubles in the country's coffee sector has already began to court controversy among farmers.

The Kenya Small scale Coffee Growers Association (KESCOGA) welcomed the directive to form a task while another group, the Peasant Coffee Farmers Association of Kenya (PCFAK), renounced the move.

KESCOGA however said they support the president's condition that farmers play a central role in the task force.

Other embers of the taskforce include Githuku Mwangi, Robin Achoki, Andrew Karanja, Susan Maira, Patrick Katingima, Kevin Ashley, Anne Onyango, Hiram Mwangi Mwaninki, Newton Nderitu, Adrian Atugi, Philomena Koskei, Paul Kukubo, Josephat Makhanu and Nelson Sima.

The Attorney General’s Office will also send a representative with lawyers Dann Mwangi and Morris Kaburu sitting in as joint secretaries.