Baringo Cha Coffee Mill at Katimok in Baringo North remains operational three months after it was commissioned.
The 100 Million Shillings Coffe Mill was established by Baringo County government in partnership with Korean investor.
Agriculture Executive Joel Koima said the farmers are yet to produce enough berries to sustain the mill that processes 1.2 tonnes of berries per hour.
Koima noted that the region produces 100 tonnes of coffee berries annually which is not enough to sustain the factory.
The County administration with it Korean partners are now recruiting for senior positions.
“We really want to see the factory operational that is why we are linking up today with our Korean friends, via zoom to conduct interview in order to employ a manager and other two officials.” Said Koima.
Noting that they are aware of the challenges faced by local coffee farmers in the region.
He added that the factory is expected to start collecting berries as from November insisting that coffee in the region are not yet ready for harvest.
He noted that the County government is supporting farmers to plant coffee in regions that are coffee friendly and has so far distributed 100,000 coffee seedlings to farmers in Baringo South, Eldama Ravine, Mogotio and Baringo Central.
“We are distributing coffee seedlings to farmers in a bid to boost production of coffee berries, the seedlings will take about two years to mature.” Said Koima.
Governor Stanley Kiptis said his administration will continue to allocate more funds and provide expertise.
“Through the distribution of seedlings, we hope to increase the area under coffee from 2,500 hectares to 3,000 in 2023,” Kiptis said.
Baringo County Cooperative Union Secretary Stephen Chemjor hinted that they are having talks with farmers from coffee growing Counties such as Trans Nzoia, Nandi, Uasin Gishu and Laikipia, to bring their berries to the mill as they work to increase local production.
“The factory management and the County government should work with stakeholders to find a way of sustaining it,” said Chemjor.
Chemjor said that many farmers have not been planting coffee in the region due to lack of information, high production cost and poor prices among other challenges.
Willy Cherogony, County government coffee extension officer, regretted that little efforts have been made to encourage farmers venture into coffee farming.
Adapted from Standard Newspaper.