The government has embarked on consultations with key stakeholders to inform coffee sub-sector reforms, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has said.
The consultations, already in top gear, involve national and international actors and experts to boost production and benefit farmers through better prices.
“We have invited an expert from Ethiopia to understand how they have managed to have competitive prices of coffee of up to Sh300 per kilo, the Deputy President said in Murang’a on Thursday.
“Our mandate is to ensure farmers and traders have money in their pockets and eradicate poverty,” he added.
Mr Gachagua spoke during the burial of his sister in-law Nancy Muthoni Maina at Ndunyu ya Chege Village in Gatanga Constituency. The burial was attended by more than 40 political leaders from both sides of the divide including the Spouse of the Deputy President Dorcas Rigathi and county governor Dr Irungu Kangata.
He said that nothing, including cartels, would stop the government from implementing reforms in the coffee, tea and dairy sub-sectors.
The Deputy President added that a three-day meeting will be held next week in Naivasha, bringing together leaders from coffee growing counties for further deliberations.
Mr Gachagua lauded MPs who have been investigating the source of problems to farmers adding that he is engaging them closely to address the challenges.
He added that meetings will be held to ratify the proposals to transform the coffee, tea and dairy industries.
Mr Gachagua is leading reforms in the three subsectors as assigned by President William Ruto.
The Deputy President added that the government will serve all Kenyans irrespective of how they voted in the 2022 General Election.
The leaders who included Members of the National Assembly, Senators and Members of County Assemblies, said they will support Mr Gachagua’s bid to dismantle cartels in the agricultural sector and eradicate illicit brews.
“We are a hundred per cent behind you and President William Ruto. We give assurance of supporting you and the Kenya Kwanza Administration,” said Governor Kang’ata.
Pastor Rigathi called for support in her initiatives of social justice and empowerment of the boy and the youth in general.
“Alcohol menace must come to an end, particularly the sale of illicit drinks. We should also have distilling zones to check quality of the alcohol leaving manufacturing plants before it gets to consumers,” said the Deputy President’s spouse said.
The Deputy President insisted that President Ruto will prioritise appointment of those who supported his election bid in delivering on the Bottom-Up Development Agenda
“In constituting the government, President Ruto picks those who believe in his economic agenda. How can you describe the Bottom-Up Agenda as useless and expect to be appointed to serve in his government?” Mr Gachagua asked.
“How can you describe President Rutos’ Bottom-Up Agenda as useless and expect to be appointed to serve in his government?” he stated.
He also dismissed media reports of divisions in the Kenya Kwanza government. Mr Gachagua urged elected leaders to stop politicking and focus on development.
The leaders accompanying him pledged to support the government as they told off Azimio Coalition over demonstrations.
The senators present were William Wahome (Nyeri), Alexandar Munyi (Embu), Kamau Murango (Kirinyaga), Karungo Thang’wa (Kiambu) and Karen Nyamu (nominated).
Members of National Assembly include John Njuguna Wanjiku (Kiambaa), Njoroge Kururia (Gatundu North), George Koimburi (Juja), John Kaguchia (Mukurweini), Irene Njoki (Bahati), Githua Wamacukuru (Kabete), Chege Njuguna (Kandara), Mwangi Gakuya (Embakasi North) and Joseph Cherorot (Kipkelion East).
Also present were MPs Benjamin Gathiru (Embakasi Central), Alice Ng’ang’a (Thika Town), Eric Mwangi Wamumbi (Mathira), Gathoni Wamuchomba (Githunguri), Muchangi Karemba (Runyenjes), David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East), Gachoki Gitari (Kirinyaga Central), Ronald Karauri (Kasarani), Geofrey Wandeto (Tetu), Wachira Karani (Laikipia West)), Dan Kiili Karitho (Igembe), Samuel Gachobe (Subukia), Mpuru Aburi (Tigania East), Peter Kihungi (Kangema) and Mary Wamaua (Maragua).
East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Members of Parliament Kanini Kega and Maina Karobia were also present at the event.
Others were Woman Representatives Rahab Mukami (Nyeri), Njeri Maina (Kirinyaga), Pamela Njoki (Embu), Ann Wamuratha (Kiambu), Elizabeth Karambu Kailemia (Meru), Faith Wairimu Gitau (Nyandarua) and Betty Maina (Murang’a).
Others are nominated MPs Wanjiru Mwangi (UDA), Sabina Chege (Jubilee), Dorothy Muthoni Ikiara (UDA).