CS Chelugui urges coffee farmers to focus on speciality products
Cooperatives and MSMEs Cabinet Secretary, Mr Simon Chelugui, has urged farmers to focus on producing specialty coffee, a move he believes will lead to a more lucrative market for their produce.
As the government continues to spearhead reforms in the subsector, CS Chelugui states that coffee farmers will reap substantial rewards if they concentrate on producing these special grades.
Deputy President, Mr Rigathi Gachagua, is tasked with leading these reforms, which also extend to other agricultural sectors such as tea and the dairy industry.
“As a country, we need to shift our focus from commodity-based and price-centric coffee. Instead, we should emphasize more on specialty coffee, a category that has demonstrated its ability to fetch high value worldwide,” Mr Chelugui urges.
Specialty coffee is defined as coffee that scores 80 points or higher on a 100-point scale and is certified by a licensed Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Q Grader (CQI).
It is distinguished from other coffee varieties due to factors like altitude, soil type, and harvest timing, making it exceptional in quality.
CS Chelugui believes that embracing specialty coffee will open up competitive markets, both domestically and internationally.
He made these remarks at a recent coffee consultative meeting organized by DP Gachagua in Nairobi.
The meeting brought together lawmakers, senators from the Coffee Caucus and Agriculture Committees in national and senate assemblies, as well as key stakeholders in the coffee subsector.
In line with the government’s commitment to reform the coffee subsector, various measures have been established to achieve the goal of ensuring fair payment for farmers.
The initiatives include the Coffee Bill 2023, Draft Cooperative Bill 2023, and other recommendations that were introduced during the Meru Coffee Conference held in June this year.
The government’s reforms also encompass addressing governance within coffee cooperative societies, revitalizing the Coffee Board of Kenya to boost local consumption, and deploying extension officers to farms.