Coffee farmers in Kericho and Nyeri are set to follow live coffee auction feeds at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange at following the launch of trading screens in the regions that will enable farmers get informed prices of the price rather than travelling to the capital city to check the updates.
The upgraded system is an improvement of the 1998 government-introduced automated system that allowed coffee dealers to bid for the beans through pressing of a button and therefore eliminating the open outcry and improved transparency.
It enables farmers and traders alike gauge their credit performance while the trade is ongoing.
The move is set to improve farmers’ incomes and increase the level of transparency at a time when coffee prices have shot up by 18 per cent over the last two months.
Buyers of the produce will receive pro-forma invoice immediately while marketing agents will transact their business by 2pm from the previous 5pm on specified dates.
According to data from the Nairobi Coffee Exchange, coffee prices have improved from Sh11,000 to Sh13,000 per a 50kg bag.
The rise in prices is attributed to production of high quality beans especially from Eastern Kenya brought for sale at the auction.
In the five months to June 2018, the price of a 50kg bag had dropped to Sh10,000 due to the coffee berry disease that affected farmers crops in the Central Kenya region.
Kenya’s Arabica coffee prices decreased by Sh1.4bn in the seven months to April this year compared to a similar period in 2017 according to data from the Nairobi Coffee exchange.
In this, the value of the crop reduced from Sh13.1bn to Sh11.7bn in the period under review.