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Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jr on Tuesday at an event organised by The County Department of Agriculture hosted Co-operatives & Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui who was in Makueni to sensitize farmers on coffee reforms geared towards revamping the sector.

CS Chelugui announced an increment of coffee cherry fund from Shs.2 Billion to Sh. 6 Billion. As a result, he announced a minimum price of a kilo of cherry at Sh 80, a move he said is meant to encourage farmers to invest more in coffee production.

The minister decried a major decline of coffee production nationwide, from 141,000 to 25,000 Metric Tons in the last 3 years, explaining the need for the coffee sector reforms.

Other reforms include reviving the Coffee Research Foundation (CRF) and Coffee Board of Kenya. CRF will undertake specialized research in all problems affecting coffee production while the Coffee Board of Kenyawill undertake promotion, market research and product development initiatives for Kenya coffee in the domestic and international markets.

On his part, Governor Mutula Jnr pledged his unwavering support to coffee farmers and committed to partner with the National Government to make the sector a lucrative venture for farmers.

Further, Governor Mutula Jnr beseeched President William Ruto to waive the farmers’ outstanding loans owed by various millers which he revealed run into millions of shillings, terming the loans as a major setback in coffee profitability to local farmers.