KENYA – Baringo County, located west of Kenya has received a coffee milling machine worth ksh.100 million (US$927,500), financed by a South Korean investor Rev. Cha Bo Yong, aimed to boost production and processing of the cash crop.
The milling machine will be installed in the county’s coffee processing factory that is currently under construction and set for completion by mid-September.
According to reports by Kenyan News Agency, it will have an average milling capacity of 10 tons of coffee per day and 200 tonnes a month.
The machine is the first of a kind in the region and will greatly transform the economic livelihoods of local farmers.
Coffee production in the county has remained low due to losses incurred in terms of transportation logistics, theft and lower prices.
Farmers have been taking their parchment coffee all the way to Sasini, Othaya, EMS in Eldoret and recently Kipkelion in South Rift for milling.
“But with the arrival of the milling machine, I know it will provide an advantage of doing one stop milling within our production zones and therefore facilitate direct export to markets within the country and outside,” stated the Extension Officer in charge of coffee production in the county, Willy Cherogony.
The area under coffee production in the county currently stands at 2,500 hectares across six sub counties of Baringo Central, Baringo North, Eldama Ravine, Mogotio and Marigat particularly in Mochongoi area.
With proper crop husbandry, the agricultural officer maintained, the county can produce on average between 400-600 tonnes per year of parchment coffee.
Receiving the equipment, the Deputy Governor, Jacob Chepkwony thanked the South Korean investor for the generous gesture and made passionate appeal to local farmers to step up production to enable the milling machine to operate at the recommended optimum level when it starts operation in nine months’ time.
“As a county we shall try our best to assist existing and new farmers with subsidized fertilizers, certified seedlings and extension services through field officers.
“I urge those who had abandoned their tree bushes to go back to the farm as the current supply of coffee parchment will not be enough,” he added.
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