Monday, September 25, 2023 – Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has shocked Mt. Kenya businessmen after he revealed to rein in cartels scuttling the coffee sector.

Speaking in Othaya, Nyeri County, yesterday, Gachagua earmarked four cartels who he claimed were creating an artificial crisis as a plan to revolt against the changes instituted in the sector by President William Ruto’s government.

To prevent the power imposed by the cartels on local coffee farmers, Gachagua noted that a bill barring all millers from serving as marketers and vice-versa was already prepared for tabling in Parliament.

“The cartels are entrenched and they are few. They buy coffee at throw-away prices and sell in foreign countries at exorbitant prices,” Gachagua noted.

“The changes are on course. Amendment of the law will be tabled in Parliament soon. It proposes, among others, that if you are a coffee miller, you cannot be a marketer or a seller. It is one man, one job,” he added.

If approved, businessmen doubling as millers and marketers will see a substantial reduction in their annual revenues.

Gachagua indicated that the cartels, which he noted were not more than four players, are deeply entrenched in the subsector and that it is even attempting to sabotage the Government’s plan by creating an artificial crisis in the coffee industry.

“They (cartels) have united and are trying to create an artificial crisis and propaganda that because of the reforms, the Kenyan coffee has been boycotted, which is a lie. They are moving across various offices,” he explained. 

“I urge the farmers to be patient because it is not an easy or simple fight. It is a battle that is not simple and not for the faint-hearted. It is rough. They are boycotting the coffee to sabotage the reforms.”

As part of the reforms, Gachagua travelled to Colombia to negotiate a deal aimed at benefitting farmers from the region.


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