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Moses Kuria's Coffee Bill lights up social media

Metet Ambrose
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Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria at a past event. [Photo/ classic105.com]

A section of Kenyans on social media has reacted after Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria revealed the bill he has been working on.

In a Facebook post Friday, Kuria revealed that he has been working on the Coffee Bill 2018, which seeks to implement a ban on the export of raw coffee beans. "I have been working on this bill and it’s ready. Soon I will come to you for public participation. Once the Coffee Bill 2018 becomes law, it will be illegal to export Kenyan coffee in raw beans form. Exporters will be expected to fully process, pack and brand Kenyan coffee before shipment and label the same with a 'Made in Kenya' mark. We banned the export of raw nuts from Kenya without a fuss. Sasa nisisikie makelele. I was educated courtesy of the coffee industry. I have to ensure millions of children get the same privilege," read Kuria's Facebook post.The post elicited mixed reactions among Facebook users, with some terming the move as a good idea.Here are some of the reactions:"Good idea but start with increments of 10% per year. Roasting 50,000 metric tons is not easy my friend," Lawrence Njeru said."I can see you are only working on laws to favour your clan’s men what about bills to help maize and wheat farmers in the North Rift who are in serious trouble now?" Jackson Kirui asked."Brilliant idea only that it is suggested by a mad person!" Sabastian Mroso commented."This handshake has made you pro-active. Before you were Raila's destroyer in-chief, meaning now all your energy is directed to service delivery. That is a well-thought bill," said Waweru Muturi."Good idea but that is not the only challenge farmers have. It will add value if you consult the stakeholders. Lobby for the revamping of KCCE," Jay Nesh said."I have never agreed with you on anything, but on this mheshimiwa, you are absolutely right. I pray that the coffee cartels fleecing our farmers won't find a way to Parliament to oppose this noble initiative... Thank you Mheshimiwa.....," Linus Mbogo said.“From Gusii counties we cherish you passionately mweshimiwa Moses Kuria, you are consequential. A no-nonsense legislature...,” said Ayub Tumbo.“A very good idea. I once asked a cabinet minister in Kibaki's govt why Kenya doesn't add value to its coffee before export eg by roasting and packaging. He told me that coffee barons internationally have ensured that our coffee enjoys zero tariffs upon export but if we add value they will slap our value-added coffee with hefty tariffs that it will lack market. The late Nyeri Governor tried to bypass these coffee barons by trying to export Nyeri coffee directly to US. He came face to face with their raw power. He never succeeded. How are you going to deal with this tariff war ahead? On a related note, I wish Kenyans developed a culture of drinking coffee, that can boost our value addition to our coffee,” posted Alex Gatundu.“The other day I was surprised to learn a 50kg bag of coffee used to sell about sh.4,800 in 1984. That was when a bar of soap and a kilogram of sugar was less than sh.5. That means one bag of coffee could buy about 54 bags of sugar each 50kg. Today, a 50 kg bag of raw coffee can only buy 2 bags of sugar. But 50 kg of Nescafe is about sh.95,000. What's wrong with coffee?” asked Bernard Koech.“I will support you on this one. I want you to take advantage of all the clout you have in the party and build support for the bill. Come back to us with names of the legislators who will be against it. Especially those from Mt. Kenya who purport to have Wanjiku at heart,” posted Nduati Wangari.“Another one banning the importation of eggs, processed sugar and other locally produced foods as we wait for enough capacity to process our crude oil. MM this’s another way of job creation as well as economic growth,” said Gitau Thabanja.“Tea should also be included, I've realized most developed economies don't allow export of unprocessed or non-value-added farm products. This way farmers will get value for their hard labour while cartels like KTDA and KPCU must be drowned at whatever cost,” posted Hon Frank Gathu.''“It will not see the light and you know why. You guys claim to be in government, why is this bill not sponsored by the government through ministry of agriculture but is left to a private member. Kikulacho ki nguoni mwenu,” said Ritho Mwangi.

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