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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 14 December 2014

BUNGOMA COFFEE FARMERS GET BETTER PRICES FROM UGANDAN BROKERS

Farmers in Bungoma West have resorted to selling their coffee produce to Uganda due to better prices offered by brokers compared to the amount they receive from the coffee factories.
According to the coordinator  Job Butali people employed by   coffee factories had lost jobs since factories within Sirisia and Mt Elgon constituencies remain closed as a result of farmers selling their coffee across the border for better returns.  
“The county government should intervene and save the factories and the cooperative movement from total collapse by improving the prices offered,” said Butali.
 He added that mass exodus by farmers from factories in the region has affected the strong cooperative movement established in the 1970s and equipment worth millions of shillings were being stolen at the factories by disgruntled and corrupt employees.
“The county minister for agriculture should do an audit of all factories and he will be shocked to find out that most parts of expensive machinery has been lost and is being sold cheaply to Uganda and to other unscrupulous dealers in Bungoma and Kitale towns,” said Butali.
Butali claimed that most farmers had resorted to sell coffee to Uganda since the crop fetches Sh100 per kg compared to a paltry Sh16 offered by the factories in the country.
He advised the county government to borrow a leaf from the county government of Nyeri that has partnered with investors from Europe to buy coffee from farmers at competitive prices.
“Farmers have suffered a lot under middlemen and corrupt cooperative officials thus the county government should not lag behind in getting donors that can offer better prices for coffee,” added Butali.