The Kenya Coffee Producers Association (KCPA) is a national membership organization of coffee farmers formed to forge a united front in the coffee industry in Kenya. The objects of the association are non-political, and are to have fair representation in an organization of all the key players lawfully dealing in and or involved in the Kenyan coffee industry.
KCPA came in place after a merger between Kenya Coffee Growers Association (KCGA) and Kenya Coffee Growers and Employers Association (KCGEA) in March 2009. The membership of the association comprise small, medium and large scale coffee producers, all drawn from the coffee growing districts across the country.
THE COFFEE SECTOR
The coffee sector did well up to the 1980’s but the situation changed during the 1990s due to government involvement in its operations through reforms and policies that did not support its growth. The current government has demonstrated the desire of reviving the coffee sector. It has initiated positive reforms such as establishment of supportive institutions, the second window of marketing coffee and cancellation of debts owed by the cooperatives.
Further reforms are necessary to ensure freedom and higher income for coffee farmers.
- Countrywide membership recruitment drive.
- Sensitization and education of members on the ongoing reforms in the sector.
- Influencing positive changes in institutions supporting production and marketing of coffee and involvement of farmers in decision making.
- Networking and collaboration with national and international coffee stakeholder organizations.
- Successful lobbying for the cancellation of debts owed by the farmers and cooperatives
- Recruitment of additional members.
- Political will to revive the coffee sector and other supportive initiatives.
- Direct marketing of coffee by the farmers and cooperatives (the Second window).
- Willingness of development partners to invest in the coffee sector.
- Increased involvement of the private sector in coffee contract farming locally and/or internationally.
- Kenya has great potential to produce more coffee due to favourable climatic conditions.
- Rated among the best in the world, Kenya’s coffee has market potential if well branded and standards enforced.
- Efficient service delivery through institutional framework to support coffee production and marketing.
- Improved communication through FM Radios and mobile phones.
- Coffee can be branded in line with tourists attractions in the coffee growing areas.
CHALLENGES FACING KCPA
- Low quality and quantity of coffee from the members farms.
- Inadequate and uncoordinated credit facility for coffee farmers.
- High cost of factors of production such as labour, water and electricity.
- Low and unpredictable market prices.
- Delays in payment of coffee produce delivered and sold.
- Poor infrastructure and roads affecting coffee transportation to factories.
- Slow liberalization of the coffee sector.
- Unbranded Kenyan coffee, difficulties in certification and traceability, though it is one of the best in the world.
- Government unwarranted involvement in farmers organizations.
- Insecurity in some parts of the country targeting coffee farmers.
- Ineffective government institutions facilitating production and marketing of coffee