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Chelugui: Coffee reforms a game changer

Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui has termed the ongoing raft of reforms and strategies to revitalize the coffee sector as a game changer.

The CS who addressed farmers in Kipkelion Cooperatives Coffee Mills assured Kenyans that the government is determined to bring the sector back to profitability.

He said that the Cooperatives Bill 2023 which was approved by the Cabinet last week and the Coffee Bill 2023 which has already been tabled in the Senate will revolutionize the sector.

“My ministry is championing reforms through the two bills. The reforms are aimed at strengthening institutional frameworks; improving governance structures in cooperatives and mainstreaming in the agricultural sector,” CS said.

The CS said that strengthening of institutional frameworks that oversight cooperates is a shot in the arm for smallholder agriculture which is the mainstay of millions of Kenyan households.

He stated that the government is also actively promoting and registering workers’ cooperatives which have the potential to aggregate young professionals and artisans graduating from educational institutions into viable units.

The Cooperatives Bill 2023 introduces the Inter-government Cooperatives Relations Technical Forum while also strengthening the office of the Commissioner of Cooperatives to enhance governance.

“Farmers will no longer depend on profiteers who had hitherto controlled the value chain activity including deciding which price to buy or sell coffee.”

He said that the government appreciates the role that coffee plays in economic growth noting that the coffee sector is a key component of the Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

Last week, the Cabinet approved Sh4 billion to be managed by New KPCU to increase the coffee cherry advance revolving fund pushing from Sh20 per kilogram to Sh80 per kilogram for cherry delivered to the factories.

His remarks are in line with the ongoing reforms within the sector which is being led by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

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