The Cabinet has approved an additional Ksh4 billion for coffee farmers through the Cherry Fund, aiming to increase the advance payments to producers.

With this allocation, the total funds available in the Cherry Advance Fund now amount to Ksh7 billion, initially introduced by the former government. This allocation is in addition to the Ksh3 billion released earlier.

These new funds will provide a significant boost to farmers, who will now receive Ksh80 per kilogramme of cherry as an advance payment, a substantial increase from the previous Ksh20 per kilogramme.

The Cabinet also emphasised the importance of seeking better markets for farmers and plans to invite world-renowned coffee dealers for collaboration.

This initiative, said the cabinet, is expected to revitalise the Nairobi Coffee Exchange, which has been experiencing depressed prices and low sale volumes at auctions.

The government is actively implementing reforms within the coffee sector to enhance the income of farmers and address the declining production in recent years.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua is leading these reform efforts, having conducted several meetings with various stakeholders.

It remains to be seen whether the additional Cherry Advance Fund will see improved uptake, as the previous fund had low absorption.

The government attributed this to cooperative societies that allegedly misled growers into rejecting the funds.

The Cherry Advance Funds are intended to assist farmers in meeting their immediate financial needs and the money is recovered from the sale of their produce.