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Desperate farmers shun co-ops, resort to hawking their coffee


Source: Daily Nation Kenya

Coffee cherries being poured into a collector for pulping at Ndaroini factory in Nyeri County on August 15, 2017. Farmers have complained of delayed payment. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Farmers in central Kenya have resorted to coffee hawking, blaming their societies for taking months to pay them.

Poor payment, high prices of inputs and poor management have driven farmers over the edge to earn easy and desperately-needed cash from brokers.

Experts however warn that the trend will relegate once big factories and societies to warehouses.

Several factories and cooperative societies in Mathira and Tetu constituencies, Nyeri County are on the brink of closure. 

Mr John Kamau, a farmer in Mathira tends, to his coffee on a chilly Friday morning in Nyeri.

He says coffee farming brings more pain than happiness as he continues to wallow in poverty despite the liberalisation of the industry years ago.

“These coffee trees were planted by my father in the 1950s. He used its proceeds to send my siblings and I to school.

"I cannot rely on coffee to educate my children,” Mr Kamau said.

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