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    Kenya: Kirinyaga Coffee Farmers Earn Sh11.6b in 2017



    A farmer picks her coffee crop (file photo).

    Coffee has earned farmers in Kirinyaga County a record Sh11.6 billion so far this year.

    According to the county executive in charge of Agriculture, Ngundo Warui, farmers were celebrating following the handsome payment.

    "Farmers have been paid well this year and they are smiling all the way to the bank," he said.

    The farmers who had in the past suffered due to poor payments have been paid between Sh119 and Sh100 per kilogramme of coffee delivered.

    "The farmers had been frustrated by poor prices and were almost giving up the farming but now they are happy," said Mr Warui.

    Farmers accredited to Thirikwa Coffee Farmers Cooperative Society were the best paid in the County.

    HIGH PRICES

    "Members of Thirikwa were paid Sh119 per kilogramme of coffee they delivered," said Mr Warui.

    Previously farmers used to receive between Sh10 and Sh20 for every kilogramme of coffee, making it difficult for them to break even.

    Due to poor payment, some farmers even uprooted coffee and replaced it with nappier grass and horticultural crops.

    The Agricultural boss attributed the better earnings to high prices in the world market and high quality produce.

    "Prices in the international market were high and that is why the farmers earned billions from their deliveries. The quality of coffee produced by the farmers was also high," said Mr Warui.

    Mr Warui said farmers would have earned even more if the production was high. He noted that due to harsh weather the production reduced.

    "Farmers have produced 28 million kilogrammes of coffee this year compared to 34 million last year," he said.

    The production dropped drastically because of the prolonged dry spell but farmers were lucky the prices improved, he said.

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