NYERI Governor Nderitu Gachagua has said coffee societies must first clear the huge loans before farmers are paid their proceeds, which they began receiving last week.
"In the process of paying the farmers we have realised that many of our coffee societies had borrowed huge loans from banks and other financial institutions without the knowledge of farmers. These commitments must be honoured before the full pay out to the farmers," he said.
Gachagua said he will appoint a committee to study the level of debt of the affected societies and ensure accountability in the process of payment. He said once the debts are paid up, coffee farmers will enjoy returns.
Gachagua said the coffee cooperative societies are now processing and marketing the Nyeri coffee directly. The governor said all milled coffee will have been sold by the end of this month.
Gachagua said coffee production is expected to rise by 30 per cent as subsidised fertiliser was distributed to 104 coffee societies in the county. He told tea farmers to be patient due to decline of prices at the Mombasa auction and from the direct sales.
Dairy farmers were assured of value addition of their products, improvement of veterinary services and subsidy of animal feeds. "Our government is greatly committed to the improvement of the horticultural industry in the county. Once we conclude the study of the report of the task force, we intend to take immediate measures to boost the industry," Gachagua said.
Gachagua was accompanied by his deputy Samuel Wamathai and Nyeri county commissioner
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