Kenya: Government to forgive coffee farmers’ debts to cooperative societies and Saccos

Kirinyaga— The Government will cancel the debts of coffee producers’ cooperatives and unions as part of the intervention to modernize the subsector, Vice President Rigathi Gachagua said on Tuesday.

The vice president also vowed to continue his Mount Kenya unity mission, while several politicians praised his decision to embrace all leaders, regardless of their political affiliation.

Speaking in Kabare village in Gichugu constituency, Kirinyaga County, Gachagua said he had spoken to President William Ruto about waiving debts of coffee farmers and that the Head of State endorsed his proposal.

“The debts of the Cooperatives, Unions and Coffee Saccos will be forgiven. I have spoken with the President and he has agreed that in the same way that the debt was forgiven for sugar cane producers, it will be applied to coffee producers. The Cabinet Secretary Simón Chelugui (Ministry of Cooperatives and MSMEs) has been instructed to prepare a memorandum to present to Cabinet so that we can start again,” he said.

The Vice President added that the Ministry of Cooperatives will soon disburse the second batch of the Cherry Fund to farmers at the rate of Sh40 per kilo. He highlighted that the Government is interested in supporting farmers to increase cherry production and sales.

The vice president has been leading reforms in the coffee, tea and dairy subsectors so that small farmers earn more.

In his remarks, the vice president also said that reforms in the tea sub-sector were bearing fruit and farmers’ incomes had increased.

He was speaking at the funeral of his former Kianyaga Secondary School teacher, 73-year-old Mwalimu Julius Kano Ndumbi. Mr Ndumbi was principal of Kianyaga Secondary School when the vice president was a student.

The Vice President praised Mr Ndumbi as an educator and disciplinarian, who loved and shaped the lives of many young people. At the time of his death he was serving as director of the National Irrigation Board.

“I have come to pay my respects to my teacher, mentor, friend and great man who molded us to be who we are today through mentorship and discipline. He has transformed many people into great men with great minds. He was a great teacher. and I was able to detect talents and support them. It helped me to be a debater and the same was useful during the national debate before the 2022 elections,” said Mr. Gachagua.

Narrating how he received the news of Mr. Ndumbi’s death, the Vice President said he “spent seven days of fasting, prayers and meditation without phone or distractions in the Mount Kenya forest, reflecting on the direction of the nation.”

At the event, the Vice President was in the company of several leaders, including Senators Kamau Murango (Kirinyaga) and Veronica Maina (nominated) and MPs Njeri Maina (Kirinyaga representative), Mary Wamaua (Maragua), Gachoki Gitari (Kirinyaga Central ) and Ward. Representatives led by Kirinyaga County Assembly Speaker Muteti Murimi.

Also present were Dr Isaac Muriithi Mugo of the MCA Area, along with members of the County Government Executive Committee and Kirinyaga County Jubilee Party chairman Muriithi wa Kang’ara.

On the political front, Gachagua vowed to continue his determination to unite the nation starting with the Mount Kenya region.

He said leaders who try to divide the region will not succeed.

“I made the decision, as the highest elected leader in the Mount Kenya region, to unite everyone, regardless of their political affiliation. I am happy that ordinary people are united. Just a section of leaders who are trying to divide the region, but they will not succeed,” he said.

The leaders who accompany the Vice President praise his decision to work and embrace all leaders regardless of their political affiliation.