Uhuru waives coffee licensing fees and levies
President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed that all coffee licensing fees and levies be waived with immediate effect.
While delivering his State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Thursday, the Head of State said the move is aimed at increasing the revenues received by the coffee farmer by 4%.
The announcement comes just two weeks after nine coffee societies drawn from Mathira area in Nyeri County rejected his move to form a task force to look into the crisis facing the coffee sector.
On their part, the societies argued that a task force would not solve their problems because this was not the first time such action was being taken.
The societies’ representatives further claimed that task forces end up being part of the cartels of middlemen who steal from farmers.
In a Gazette Notice, the 19-member task force chaired by Prof. Joseph Kieyah and assisted by Agriculture Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe was required to conduct consultations with coffee stakeholders in the country and undertake literature review to learn best practices that can benefit the local coffee industry whose farmers have complained of losing hundreds of millions to middle-men and other cartels exporting the commodity.
Moving further into the agriculture sector, the President further directed the Ministry of Agriculture, the Attorney General, and the National Treasury to review sugar and tea levies.
“We will extend these efforts to regulatory fees in multiple sectors that make it a costly and time-consuming affair to undertake new projects or expand existing ones. To this end, I am directing that the prohibitive levies at the National Environment Management Authority, National Construction Authority, and the Communications Authority be reviewed with immediate effect,” said the Head of State.
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