Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Wednesday revealed the government's intentions to work with coffee companies in the UK a month after plans to partner with the US largest coffee chain, Starbucks flopped.
Gachagua had sought the help of US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman to seal the deal with the company in October.
Speaking at his residence in Karen when he hosted UK High Commissioner to Kenya Neil Wigan, Gachagua explained that working with foreign companies would the Kenyan agriculture sector.
“We have explained what we are doing to many people and they have understood. There is a lot of activity now at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange. We would be happy if you could create a forum for us to talk to coffee companies in the UK so we explain to them what we are doing and they can share their ideas. We would be happy to have that engagement,” he remarked.
The Second in Command further dismissed claims that his reforms were punitive as alleged by a section of leaders.
He emphasized that the intervention measures from the government were meant to revive the sector as more coffee farmers were ditching the crop due to low returns.
Gachagua has been championing reforms in coffee, tea, and milk across the country to allow farmers to rely on themselves. He has advocated for more bills to weed out cartels in the sector.
In October, Gachagua announced plans alongside US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman to sell Kenyan coffee to companies in the foreign power.
"They will buy our coffee directly. Some of the buyers have been using our coffee to blend their products and increase the quality of coffee produced from other countries," he stated.
According to Gachagua, his plans were aimed at getting rid of the middlemen and brokers who profit more than the coffee farmers despite doing very little to help the people who do the heavy lifting.
Kenyan coffee is ranked among the best in the world.
Meanwhile, during the meeting, Gachagua also asked for support from the UK to help Kenyans affected by El Nino. He reiterated that the relationship between the two countries has resulted in exponential growth.
On his part, the UK Commissioner revealed that more British investors were coming to Kenya adding that he was pushing for more to flock to the country.
"We would like a balanced trade that will benefit both sides," Wigan stated.