KENYA – Coffee farmers in Kenya earned a remarkable Kes24.8 billion (US$155M) from the sale of coffee in the past year, as reported by the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE).  

According to the report, the cooperative societies and estates played a vital role in achieving this milestone, selling 635,905 bags of produce out of deliveries totalling 729,511 bags through the NCE. 

The increase in coffee sales between the periods of 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 can be attributed to the high production levels of the commodity.  

Despite a temporary setback between August 15 and September 30, 2023, when farmers withheld their produce due to confusion surrounding the implementation of coffee reforms, the sector rebounded, with the NCE currently accommodating an average of 20,000 bags of coffee weekly. 

A notable highlight in the coffee industry was the auction held on December 5 last year, where the Nairobi auction registered an impressive 94% in sales.  

A total of 9,730 bags out of 10,372 bags were sold, earning farmers Kes448.3 million (US$2.8M). The New Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (NKPCU) secured Kes152 million (US$950,000), while Alliance Berries Limited garnered Kes94.1 million (US$588,125). 

The positive trend continued with 75% of buyers participating in the auction throughout the year, showcasing a steady improvement from October 1, 2023.  

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua commended the success of trading in the coffee sector, noting that those who initially opposed the reform agenda were now actively purchasing the commodity in bulk. 

Gachagua emphasized the overall success of reforms in the agriculture sector, particularly in coffee and tea, with a special focus on the dairy sector.  

He highlighted the resilience of the sector, stating, “There are buyers who attempted to blackmail the government through abandoning the market, but after releasing Kes6 billion for the Cherry Fund, they trooped back into the market.” 

Risper Ndung’u, the Chief Executive Officer of NCE, shared optimism about the future, stating that the confidence of farmers in the process would likely result in more coffee being channelled through NCE in the coming year.  

This sentiment was echoed by Cooperative Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui, who encouraged farmers in coffee-growing counties to increase production to meet the growing market demand. 

Chelugui also revealed ongoing efforts by the government to attract major buyers like Starbucks and C Dorman to further boost the coffee industry.  

NKPCU Chairman Daniel Kiprotich affirmed their commitment to working closely with farmers to implement reforms and focus on increasing production. 

Today, NCE will auction 22,066 bags of coffee, with KNPCU bringing on board 6,359 bags and Alliance Berries Ltd 5,000 bags. 

 

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