MP Moses Kuria tabling Bill to ban raw coffee exports.


Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria is scheduled to table a bill in the National Assembly that, if passed, will make it illegal to export raw coffee beans from the country.

Through a post on his social media platform on Friday morning, Kuria told the public that he would soon seek their input into the matter through public participation once the Coffee Bill 2018 was ready.

“Soon I will come to you for public participation. Once the Coffee Bill 2018 becomes law, it will be illegal to export Kenyan coffee in raw beans form,” Kuria said in his post.

According to the legislator, all coffee exporters will be expected to fully process, pack and brand Kenyan coffee before shipment and label the same with a “Made in Kenya” mark. 

Kuria attributed his education to the proceeds obtained by his parents courtesy of the coffee industry thus vowed that he would do everything possible to revive the sector in order to ensure millions of children born of coffee farmers got the same privilege as he did.

“We (Kenya) banned the export of raw nuts from Kenya without a fuss. Sasa nisisikie makelele,” he said.

Coffee has in the past been referred to as black gold but since the 1980s, the Kenyan coffee industry has been going through tough times as the farmers continue experiencing great losses. 

(Related story: Thika MP Tables a bill to regulate imports, boost job creation.)

Man-made challenges have since been at the center of most of its woes and these are occasioned by less than harmonious interactions and interests between key stakeholders including cooperative societies, the Coffee Board and Coffee Millers and marketers who have led to controversies and even conflicts. From coffee smuggling syndicates of the 1970’s fondly referred to as the coffee boom to the price boom of 2011 which led to record prices for farmers and an equal escalation of coffee theft in farms, in stores and in transit claiming fatalities from the ravenous coffee robbers.

Coffee is primarily produced by small-scale farmers who lack the ability to negotiate for better trading and working conditions. Cartels have taken advantage of this gap to infiltrate the coffee market and exploited them for decades.

The primary farmer has been living in darkness over how the proceeds from their sweat is derived at. Transparency and accountability from production to the final consumer is top secret.
Considering all these, the Kuria bill could end being the saviour to coffee farmers in Kenya.


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