The Kiambu County Government has asked the national government to waive a Sh400 million debt owed by coffee societies in the county.
Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro said the government should intervene to save the coffee societies from the huge debt they owe.
Speaking during the opening of the Waruhiu Farmer Training Centre farmers' exhibition, Nyoro said the sector has not improved due to accumulated debts.
One of the biggest societies in the area, Komothai Coffee Cooperative Society, has a Sh160 million debt. If the government agrees to waive the Sh400 million debt, 23 coffee societies will benefit from the move.
“We have initiated talks with the government so that we can see what can be done, including writing off the debts. We have to remove, shelf or reschedule the debt so that the farmers can stand to benefit. With the debt the farmers cannot get good returns,” said Nyoro as quoted by the Standard.
Nyoro said the debt waiver will boost recovery of the sector in the county which has been affected over the past few years.
He further said that most of the factories in the area are in deplorable condition and that the county will put measures in place to ensure the factories are revived.
The deputy governor added that they will seek to boost revenue for farmers by looking for new markets, as well as put all the 23 coffee societies under one umbrella body.
“Coffee marketing is also a very serious problem that has affected the industry, but we are looking for markets outside the traditional ones,” added Nyoro.