Farmers are set to follow the sale of their produce in real time after the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) automated its auction system.
The auction, which has so far gone live in Kipkelion and Nyeri, is expected to expand to cover other coffee growing counties, allowing traders from across East Africa to follow sale proceedings on screens.
“The regional screens will create transparency and openness on how coffee is sold at the auction, increase confidence of coffee owners and demystify the auction process,” said Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri during the system launch.
Unlike at the present when market reports have to be generated and sent by e-mail long after the auction, farmers, buyers, marketing agents and government officials will obtain instant reports from the system.
The process of upgrading the system began in 2014 after stakeholders pushed to be allowed to follow live sale proceedings. According to NCE, the new system will also allow dealers from all over the world to trade in the commodity without making a physical presence at the auction.
Kenya exports about 95 per cent of its coffee. Mr Kiunjuri also officiated at the launch of the Kenya Coffee Platform, an initiative that brings value chain players together to develop a common approach and strategy to address issues affecting the industry.
The initiative will facilitate dialogue through creation of an inclusive and participatory national platform that represents all coffee stakeholders.