The Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua will next month convene a three-day stakeholders conference in the coffee industry to deliberate on reforms to revamp the agricultural sub-sector.
The conference will be held in Meru from June 6 to June 8, 2023 and the discussion will be on revival of the once highly lucrative crop, Gachagua said yesterday
“As we leave Meru, we will have a solution to the problems bedeviling the coffee sub-sector. Problem of low prices is everywhere. President William Ruto tasked me with finding a solution. My brother the late governor Nderitu Gachagua had started and I will try my best. I want to give you hope that we will get a solution on how farmers can get prices that are commensurate with their labour and effort.” The DP said.
He spoke at Kahira-ini Catholic Church Parish in Ruguru Ward in his Mathira backyard, Nyeri county.
The Deputy President was accompanied by various leaders including the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock Development Daniel Wamahiu Kiongo, Nyeri governor Mutahi Kahiga and Nyeri Woman Representative Rahab Mukami.
Also present were MPs Eric Wamumbi (Mathira), Maina Mathenge (Nyeri town), Njoroge Wainaina (Kieni), John Kaguchia (Mukurweini), Wambugu Wainaina (Othaya), Mpuri Aburi (Tigania East), Gachoki Gitari (Kirinyaga Central) and Member of the East African Legislative Assembly Kanini Kega.
Nyeri County Assembly Speaker Mwangi Gichuhi, members of the County Assembly and former Mathira MP Peter Weru were also present.
The forthcoming coffee convention will be preceded by a meeting between Gachagua and his counterpart from Columbia on today.
“Tomorrow I will be meeting the vice president of Colombia to talk about coffee. In their country, they have succeeded and their prices are good.” Gachagua added.
He said the Meru conference will be attended by governors, Senators and Members of Parliament from all the coffee-growing areas.
Cabinet Secretaries for Agriculture and Cooperatives Mithika Linturi and Simon Chelugui respectively alongside farmers, coffee sellers, marketers, roasters and experts will also be in attendance.
“We will come up with a resolution on the necessary reforms to be instituted that will lead to high prices,” said the Deputy President as he acknowledged that some coffee cooperative societies have closed down due to huge debts.
In January, President Ruto tasked Gachagua to lead the coffee sector reforms spearheaded by the Coffee Sub-Sector Reforms Implementation Standing Committee.
Yesterday, the DP also condoled with the church following the death of priest Richard Kabuthi Kinyua, who succumbed to Cancer.
Stating that cancer has left many families suffering and financially drained, Gachagua said the national and county governments will find a way forward in equipping hospitals with Positron Emission Tomography scan, known as a PET scan, which is a type of test used in cancer treatment.
“County and national governments must have a sitting on how we can equip hospitals with pet scans even if it’s one in every county so that people can have early and accurate screening and the disease can be diagnosed early. The main problem is late diagnosis when the disease is at stage 4. Pet scans are expensive but they are accurate.” He said.
“Maybe when I will convene the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) meeting we will talk with governors and decide how both governments will support each other in Cancer treatment and save the situation. most families have been affected.” Gachagua added.