Nairobi, July 5 (Xinhua)-Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture said on Monday that exports of Arabica coffee have recently improved amid ongoing reforms in the subsector.
Peter Muña, Chief Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperatives and Fisheries, said coffee varieties continue to attract buyers from profitable export markets around the world.
Munha told reporters in Nairobi that in the 2019-20 coffee year, the country exported 46,333 metric tons of green beans, which earned 22 billion shillings (about US $ 204 million).
He said Kenyan coffee continues to win the highest prices on the international market, but farmers’ payments per kilogram of cherries continue to decline.
“We intend to reform the sub-sector by improving efficiency, performance and profitability to farmers and increasing international sales of products,” Munha said in a statement in the National Coffee Revitalization Progress Report. ..
He said farmers will now have discretion in processing, trading, selling and paying for coffee beans.
Munha said marketing agents, who are doubling as some coffee buyers, will be outlawed in the coffee business through the coffee bill 2021, which is publicly attended by parliament.
Legislative coffee sector reform aims to address the governance challenges that have plagued the sector with the goal of giving coffee growers discretion in processing, trading, selling and paying for coffee.
It also identifies the root cause of the high profitability of Kenyan Arabica coffee in the export market and the low price gap paid to farmers.
Kenya’s coffee production area decreased by more than 30% from about 170,000 hectares in the early 1990s to about 119,000 hectares in 2020.
The production of cash crops has also decreased by 70% from the peak of 129,000 metric tons in the 1983-84 coffee year to about 40,000 metric tons today.
Kenyan coffee is currently grown on approximately 120,000 hectares across 33 counties, directly and indirectly supporting more than 800,000 households and more than 5 million citizens.
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