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Murang’a coffee farmers eye US market

Coffee farmers in Murang’a county are eyeing a share of American market for their produce. The farmers met a delegation of marketers from US on Tuesday to work out plans to start selling their coffee directly to the country’s processors.

The delegation led by Githunguri MP Gabriel Kago and a Murang’a resident Laban Mungai who stays in US, is on a mission to woo farmers in the county to start selling their produce to Americans.

Mungai said that Americans are not conversant with Kenyan coffee which he added is of best quality compared to the one being sold there.

Mungai asked the farmers to embrace the US market, saying buyers will engage farmers directly without involving middlemen and cartels who have caused poor performance of the sector.

“Most of the coffee being sold in US is blended and the American  people have not yet experienced original Kenyan coffee which is of best quality,” he said. Kago said the  coffee sector is threatened with collapse if the right measures are not employed to revive the cash crop. He said  coffee farming has been left to old people as the youth shun the crop due to poor returns.

“If measures to revive the sector are not taken to make the cash crop profitable, coffee farming in the country will be history in two decades,” Kago added. The American delegation led by Grand Highland Economic Development Corporation  Chief Executive Officer Dave Taylor assured the farmers of better returns for their coffee.

The main economic activity in the county is agriculture where more than 60 per cent of farmers grow tea and coffee.