Extreme weather patterns as a result of global climate change may drastically affect coffee production in the country this year.
According to experts, the patterns, ranging from Inadequate rainfall to prolonged extreme cold season, shall inhibit maximum trees flowering and lower berry quality as well.
This shall effectively lead to lower and poor yields, thus reducing the chances of farmers receiving a premium overall pay at the end of this season.
Extremely cold weather was experienced in most of the crop-growing zones in the months of June, July, August, and September this year.
Govt Looks to Coffee Grafting to Achieve Expected Output
However, to achieve the targeted production, government and non-governmental actors, via coffee revitalisation programmes, have developed new varieties that can withstand harsher climatic conditions and have come up with new technologies to spur yields.
The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) has been working on technologies that will save farmers from the effects of climate change and deal with pests and diseases.
Harrison Mugo, a research scientist with Kalro at Coffee Research Institute (CRI), says the institution has developed a new technology that enables farmers to continue harvesting the produce from their old variety while the new one, which is attached to the old tree through grafting continues to mature.
“With the new technology, we use the old varieties that are already on the farm, by raising suckers and then grafting them with scions of the resistant coffee varieties. During grafting, farmers will still be harvesting their coffee from the old tree as they raise the new suckers until they are ready to produce before getting rid of it.” Harrison Mugo.