Speaking to Kenyans residing in the United States President William Ruto announced a Ksh6 billion debt write-off for coffee farmers, aiming to rejuvenate the sector and boost the livelihoods of over 600,000 farmers.

“In the next Cabinet meeting, we will approve a write-off of Ksh6 billion to our farmers, so that we can reduce debts on coffee farming,” Ruto said.

This move is part of Rigath Gachagua’s ongoing coffee reforms intended to expand cultivation and enhance farmer revenues.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has been instrumental in championing coffee farmers’ interests. His discussions with coffee sector stakeholders have been critical in pushing forward the debt relief plan.

A forensic audit of the Ksh4 billion debt owed by coffee farmers is being conducted to verify the exact amount overdue. This verification process is essential for preparing a memo for Cabinet discussion and approval, which will authorize the National Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary to officially waive the debts.

The debt waiver initiative follows similar efforts dating back to former President Mwai Kibaki’s administration in 2006, which aimed to help local farmers. Between 2006 and 2019, the government waived Ksh12.2 billion, though these efforts did not significantly boost the subsector.

President Ruto also promised the establishment of a Ksh2 billion fund to support cherry farmers, providing financial cushioning while waiting for coffee auctions.

This intervention, part of the budgetary proposals for the Financial Year 2024-2025, is expected to alleviate immediate financial pressures on farmers and requires Parliamentary approval.