How the Proposed Coffee Bill Will Change the Story of a Kenyan Farmer

As I prepare to take a perfect golf strike on the 18th hole, a thought runs on my mind like a lightning. I was lucky to capture it. Hold on, it must be fatigue wearing me out. For the better part of the day, I have been walking carrying the golf bag on my shoulder. It’s a perfect workout!

The golf bag am carrying is a Titleist. It was a gift from an American friend three years ago. We had met in Kenya when this golf enthusiast who had visited for a charity mission. He gave me some basics and promised to send me a golf bag after returning back to America which he did.

Holding my golf club in my hands, I decided to postpone my strike and admire the beautiful environ surrounding the golf course. I’m in a renowned Golf Club in Nairobi the Capital City of Kenya called Windsor Golf Hotel and County Club. The name of the hotel is a quick reminder of the Windsor Castle; the royal residence of the Queen in the English county of Berkshire. This is a clear indication that the name ‘Windsor’ was imported from the UK without a slight change in its spelling.

In the morning, as I drove here, I passed through a large farm of coffee on one side of the road. There were people plucking the coffee beans. The car stereo was tuned to my favorite channel for my morning dosage of news. The topic of the discussion happened to be on the bill that sought to burn the exportation of raw coffee.

The coffee debate in Kenya is a sensitive discussion. It’s just like the immigration debate in America or Brexit in the UK. As one of the major commodity that Kenya exports abroad, it has not been offering attractive returns especially for the farmers. A farmer would be paid sh. 20 per kg of unprocessed coffee. The price per kg is equivalent to less than half a dollar. If the farmers’ cooperative fee and amount spent on input are deducted for the sum, they will end up getting a figure less than that.

However, this was not the case thirty years ago. Our grandparents comfortably educated our parents from the coffee coffers. The rise of unscrupulous traders and middlemen may have brought the difference making it a futile trade.

Reduced returns have made most of the farmers to painfully uproot the crop that they had relied on to educate their kids. They’re now embracing horticulture, beekeeping, and other types of farming that would require less energy but offer high returns.

Before I get carried away by the pain of Kenyan coffee farmers, the lawmakers are working to ensure that the hope of farmers is renewed once again. They have visited abroad nations that consume our coffee and they returned with the good news that is sweet to the farmer’s ears. The report said that processed coffee would fetch 50 times more than unprocessed coffee. But those remain just stories until the Bill to burn importation of raw coffee is passed in parliament.

Before I now take my strike, there was no doubt that the things imported into this country would come as finished products. The BMW Car I was driving, the Casio watch on my wrist, the Titleist golf bag, the name of the Hotel was 100% imported from abroad. How then could the country continue importing raw coffee abroad for meager earnings?

I didn’t realize I had taken much time to quest my thought and was feeling thirsty. I know needed to quest my thirst for coffee which would cost me not less than $3 for a cup. The sad reality is that the farmer on the other side of the road will continue to suffer if this trend was left to continue. Nonetheless, the power to pass the bill remains with the lawmakers.

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Written by abbyjep

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