KENYA – Kenya has sent a delegation of executives led by Cooperatives and MSME Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui to the 3rd world producer and exporter of coffee, Colombia, to take a leaf on how the country can achieve its target of 140MT productivity annually from the current 40MT.

Kenya is the 4th largest coffee producer in the East African sub-region behind Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania.

The two countries have pledged to enhance bilateral cooperation in the coffee sector. Kenya intends to tap into the experience of the South American country, which enjoys a good reputation and a good position in the international market.

“We plan to work closely with the world’s best coffee producers. It is our strong desire to benefit from what the world has to offer for the betterment of the farmers,” Chelugui said.

“We are aiming at increasing coffee production from the current 40MT to 140MT annually. Increasing the value of coffee through sustainably improved yields and greater productivity are keys to helping smallholder farmers lift themselves out of poverty.”

The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, a highly successful institution founded in 1927, is hosting the Kenyan delegation.

Accompanying the CS are Principal Secretary Patrick Kilemi (Cooperatives), Governors Ken Lusaka (Bungoma), Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri), Co-operative Bank director Vincent Marangu and New Kenya Planters Cooperative Union CEO Michael Timothy and his Kenya Co-operative Coffee counterpart Jane Kathuku.

At the beginning of the month, the head of Kenya’s main business group pushed for increased trade between Kenya and South America amid calls for direct flights between Nairobi and the region.

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) president Richard Ngatia said much trade has been realized between Kenya and more than 450 million people in the South American market.

Mr. Ngatia held talks with Colombia Vice President Francia Marques on the need for stronger trade ties between the two countries.

HE delved into the potential areas of collaboration between Kenya and South American nations, including agribusiness and the digital economy.

The talks also proposed blending Kenyan and Colombian tea and coffee to come up with a superior hybrid brand.

Data shows that Kenyan exports to Colombia in 2021 amounted to Ksh150 million with coffee, tea, and spices leading while olive trees, plants, bulbs, roots, and cut flowers follow.

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