Coffee farmers in Bungoma, Busia and Trans Nzoia Counties are set to benefit from the coffee mill that was put up in Mulatiwa village in Cheptais Sub County by Mt. Elgon Cooperative union.
Mt. Elgon Cooperative union is an apex organization of nineteen cooperative societies that came up with the idea of buying a coffee mill from Brazil in 2013 at a cost Kshs 20.3 million to help reduce the cost of milling by other private companies.
Speaking in his office at Mulatiwa, Mt Elgon Union chairman Mr. Amos Chemabus Mamboleo said the machine was installed and it has started milling coffee cherries.
“The high capacity machine is capable of milling 1.2 tonnes per hour, grading the cherry into more than five categories according to the international coffee standard,” said Mr. Mamboleo.
With the help of Bungoma County government they managed to construct a warehouse worth Kshs 8 million and also put up a weighbridge at cost of Kshs 9 million.
“Although we have started milling we are still facing challenges, we don’t have enough capital for our operations and paying our staff. Further, the contractor hasn’t handed over the weighbridge and warehouse to the union due to payment arrears by the County government making our services difficult” he said.
He appealed to the County government through the ministry of agriculture to hasten the payment saying currently they don’t have enough space to store the cherry and milled clean coffee.
Mamboleo further urged other farmers’ cooperative societies to bring the coffee cherry for milling, adding that they have already milled 100 bags from Chemekere cooperative society, 200 bags from Kimabole cooperative society and 300 bags from Chebich cooperative society.