Senators have taken to task Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya over the Sh1.5 billion World Bank-funded coffee revitalisation initiative.
The legislators raised concern over the criteria used by the minister in selecting coffee growing counties set to benefit from the project.
April 23,2020 Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula challenged Mr Munya to give an explanation as to why only counties from the Mount Kenya region were selected as the sole beneficiaries of the fund.
Regions that were left out
Mr Wetang’ula wondered why the minister had deliberately ignored coffee growing counties within the western region, including Kakamega, Busia, Vihiga, Bungoma, Kericho and Kisii, which also engage in large- scale coffee growing.
According to the senator, CS Munya was outrightly biased against the coffee growing counties outside the Mount Kenya region.
Fellow Senators Sam Ongeri (Kisii), Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho) and Cleophas Malala (Kakamega) echoed Mr Wetangula’s concern and asked for an investigation into the matter.
Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka directed the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries led by Embu Senator Njeru Ndwiga to investigate the matter.
He ordered the committee to invite Ministry of Agriculture officials led by CS Munya to appear before it and shed more light on the matter.
The two-year programme launched last week is to be undertaken under the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP) and the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP).
Components of the programme
According to the Agriculture ministry, the main components of the ‘’Coffee Revitalisation Programme shall include increasing coffee production, improving the efficiency of farmer co-operative societies, supporting research development and technology dissemination.
‘’The other components of the programme include supporting development of alternative coffee markets and project coordination.’’
Kiambu, Machakos, Murang’a, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Embu, Tharaka Nithi and Meru counties have been selected to pioneer the project.
The ministry argued that the selected counties account for 70 per cent of the national coffee production and ‘’have the potential for quick wins through increased productivity’’.