The Ministry of Agriculture has raised an alarm over declining coffee production from an all-time high of 128,862 tonnes in 1987/88 to the lowest production of 38,620 tonnes in 2016/17. The worrying trend comes at a time when demand from the international market is on the rise.
Speaking at the International Coffee Day celebrations held at Kirinyaga County, the chief administrative secretary at the Ministry Andrew Tuimur said the country is facing a huge decline in coffee production from about 160,000 hectares to the current 114,000 hectares. The decline in land under coffee has resulted in low production.
The 2018 coffee day celebrations appreciated the good work women have done in coffee production.
The Declining Coffee Production
Tuimur said that if the trend continues, the declining coffee production will affect over 200,000 people that are relying on the cash crop for their livelihoods. However, the government is making efforts to address this problem.
“From providing subsidies such as fertiliser, the government has also scrapped four per cent Ad valorem levies which have been levelled on clean coffee,” he stated.
Tuimur also said the government will set aside money for a revolving fund in the budget to put to an end the systematic payment delays that farmers face.
The chief administrative secretary also asked farmers from the 31 counties that grow coffee to stop uprooting coffee in favour of other crops adding that good times were coming.
“We are carrying out trials in three counties, Nyeri, Kirinyaga and Meru, by giving farmers 100 per cent subsidised fertiliser to shore up coffee production,” he said adding that coffee farmers should increase their productivity in light of the upcoming commodity exchange.