A United States based foundation has initiated talks with Murang’a county government on revamping coffee and ICT sectors.
M Life Foundation has reached out to the county assembly and the executive to partner and engage young people in production and marketing of coffee through online platforms.
The president of the Foundation Mr. Mwangi Mukami and his delegation when Monday met the county deputy governor Stephen Munania and leadership of the county assembly said the use of digital technology can boost coffee farming by accessing international internet through online marketing.
Mwangi said through partnership with the devolved administration young people will be brought on board and search for locally produced coffee markets through use of digital platforms.
He lauded the high quality of Kenyan coffee saying it can fetch good returns in the American market.
“Kenya is among countries which produce high quality coffee. What is missing and affecting farmers is good returns and searching for markets online, the produce can get better prices.
“M life foundation with the Murang’a government we are eying to establish ICT hubs in different parts of the county. The hubs will help train young people on emerging developments in the digital world and how they can explore online to access a wide market for local produce,” explained Mwangi at the office of the deputy governor.
“The demand for Kenyan coffee in the international market is enormous, thus the need for the involvement of the youth in the sector,” said Mwangi.
Munania in his part appreciated the delegation over the concern with the local youth saying the county government has established coffee demonstration farms across the sub counties targeting involvement of the youth.
“The County government has two acres of land for the purpose of a coffee farming demonstration at Ikundu farm, another two acres at Iyego society,” stated the deputy governor.
Coffee production in Murang’a County currently is at about 20 million kilos annually despite the capacity of producing more than 100 million kilos.
“Currently, the coffee sector fetches Sh.2.5 billion yet if its potential is fully exhausted, Murang’a can generate in excess of Sh. 25 billion annually,” Munania observed.
Kahumbu MCA who invited the M life Foundation in Murang’a said he has kicked off a coffee rehabilitation programme in his ward.
“Already 100 farmers in my ward are back in the farms after they attended several workshops conducted by a local organization, Youth Action for Rural Development (YARD),” he added.
The assembly’s speaker Johnson Mukuha said the assembly will enact legislation that will guide the partnership between the executive and the foundation.
“The partnerships if anchored in law will propel the county to great heights,” said the speaker.