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Coffee growing counties to conduct bushes count

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A coffee farmer picking ripe beans. FILE PHOTO
A coffee farmer picking ripe beans. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The national government will help counties in coffee growing zones to conduct a physical county of coffee bushes, and carry out soil analysis in the regions, as drive to improve the crop takes shape.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Njeru Ndwiga said the two governments have already rolled out the exercise in Kirinyaga and Nyeri counties, while the same will be launched in Embu this weekend.

Speaking in Embu town, Mr Ndwiga said the sampling of soils by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives together with respective counties will determine the right fertilizer, as the government prepares to disburse Sh1.5billion subsidy.

During the period, farmers will give views on the coffee taskforce report so as to give recommendations before it is operationalised.

The Embu Senator said they were concerned by the low volumes of coffee produced in the country, mainly due to application of wrong fertilizer and poor husbandry.

He said the production had dipped to about 44,000 metric tonnes down from an all time high of close to 170,000 metric tonnes and there was a need to improve production.

“Our current concern is not market but production. Currently we can’t claim to be a major coffee player. We have the best coffee in the world but income from it is dwindling due to low production,” said Mr Ndwiga.

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The senator who was accompanied by Embu Governor Martin Wambora said the fertilizer would be distributed to individual farmers according to their soil type.

He said the two governments were also conducting a count of the existing coffee trees and their production in the counties, and will use the figures to dissolve or merge underperforming cooperatives.

Mr Wambora said the county will this year start processing and packaging its own branded coffee, tea, milk and macadamia produce to help farmers earn more.

He said he had already secured market for coffee in Saudi Arabia and America and now farmers were guaranteed of at least Sh100 per kilo.

He said the county will start processing and selling its coffee at the county mill situated at Kavutiri, from where they will process and sell clean coffee thus evading brokers at the auction.

Mr Wambora said the county had already hosted 33 international coffee buyers representing eight countries in a move aimed at bringing on board investors involved in various value addition chains.

He said he would be attending the international coffee organization conference representing Kenya, where he will root for the local coffee given prominence, ahead of that from Colombia and Jamaica.

“Our coffee will no longer be sold as a commodity but as a specialty. Jamaican and Colombia coffee fetch the best prices because their marketing is better. These other countries are earning more money yet their coffee is inferior to ours,” Mr Wambora said.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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