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Counties

Waiguru eyes direct coffee exports to Italy

Anne Waiguru Italy coffee
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru (centre) in Italy with chairman of All Coffee Millers in Italy Patrick Hoofer (right) and County majority leader Kamau Murango. Photo | Courtesy 

Kirinyaga County is banking on foreign investors to help revamp its coffee sector amid a plan to increase acreage under the cash crop.

County governor Anne Waiguru says she is currently in Italy to market coffee produced in the devolved unit as she angles to set up a processing plant.

In a statement sent to newsrooms, she said she met with the President of Caffe Corsini - an Italian coffee roasting and processing firm, where they discussed value addition and marketing.

“My government is committed to ensure coffee production is increased and farmers are able to enjoy their hard work,” she said.

The governor said she hopes that Kirinyaga farmers will one day be able to export coffee to Italy directly.

In the recent past, several growers have uprooted their crop after being discouraged by poor returns that coffee cooperatives pay them.

Kirinyaga has 45,469 acres of coffee grown with 15 cooperative societies and over 400 estates.

Anne Waiguru Italy coffee

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru (centre) in Italy with chairman of All Coffee Millers in Italy Patrick Hoofer (right) and County majority leader Kamau Murango. Photo | Courtesy

In the 2016/2017 period, the county produced 26,000 metric tonnes (MT) of the crop following effects of dry weather.

The department of agriculture in Kirinyaga projects yields will increase to 40,000MT by the next season on extension services to farmers and availability of subsidised fertiliser.

“My administration is keen to ensure marketing challenges faced by resident was a thing of the past,” she said.

Ms Waiguru also promised to enforce security organs in the county to help counter coffee theft.

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