Coffee farmers in Meru can now access Sh24 million cherry advance for parchment delivered to the New Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (NKPCU) mill.
New KPCU chairman Henry Kinyua said so far, the mill has received 6,400 bags of 50 kilos each from farmers, which it will start milling this week.
Going by average prices during the last auction at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE), the 320,000 kilos parchment is worth Sh60 million with farmers able to access 40 percent of its value, he said.
“We want our farmers to know that we are serious in our efforts to revive the sector. The Sh3 billion cherry advance is a reality and what farmers need is just to fill in their forms and access the money. This cash will go directly to the farmer’s pocket with no deductions,” he said when he announced that New KPCU would start milling the coffee.
Mr Kinyua said all farmers regardless of where their coffee was milled were eligible for the advance, with the restriction only applying to estate farmers who should deliver their parchment to New KPCU to access the funds.
He said before each consignment was milled, societies would be required to present their representatives to witness the process to minimize controversy over milling losses.
“We know that milling losses are a contentious issue where farmers feel that they get short-changed. To solve this problem, we will ensure that there will be no milling without a representative from the society,” he said.
Following farmers’ concern over how the societies would be paid their 20 percent due to the organizations on the final payment once the clean coffee is sold, Mr Kinyua said they had devised a method where a certain percentage would be paid to the society and the balance remitted to the farmers’ accounts to promote transparency.