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MPs file Coffee Auction Petition
Members of Parliament from the Coffee growing zones have presented their implications following the suspension of the coffee auction. The MPs retaliated that this is the period that the coffee prices are at the highest as it is the main sale of the main crop that the market has been waiting for, so the closure frustrates the realization of the high prices.
Led by Hon. Kabando wa Kabando of Mukurweini constituency, Kabando noted that the auction will deny the country the much needed foreign exchange. He added that a quick look at the last 3 sales revealed that in just two weeks, the country will lose at least US$ 17 million nearly Ksh 1Billion in foreign exchange which is quite a huge loss to the country.
The MPs questioned the delay in dealing with some of the key issues including the non performing dealers. “The board has been notified of it several times, it is almost 5 years now but it seems it will not be resolved,” remarked Hon. Cyrus Muriuki of Imenti Central.
The trade fraternity has two groups, the Kenya Coffee Traders Association (KCTA) mainly comprising of the foreign coffee buyers and the Mild Coffee Traders Association (MCTA) where the small upcoming indigenous traders are lumped up. The MPs claimed that the management of the Board has always listened to the former at the expense of the latter.
With the suspension of the coffee auction, the MPs remarked that such a move will see Kenya lose the international buyers who might substitute Kenya coffee with coffees from other origins. As a result, the farmer stands to be the main loser both in the short term and in the long run.
The MPs pointed out that there is a need to declare the decision behind the closure. Was the decision driven by established market players, who asked that the market be closed temporarily to first weed out ‘coffee market hustlers’? Could these be the dormant but licensed marketing agents who thrive by collecting and selling the free coffee samples submitted by genuine marketing agents?
Among the 12 MPs who presented these petitions include Hon. Njoroge Baiya of Githunguri, Hon. Peter Munya of Tigania East, Hon. Cyrus Muriuki of Imenti Central, Hon. Clement Wambugu of Mathioya Constituency and Hon. Jeremiah Kioni of Ndaragwa Constituency.