Thousands of small-scale coffee farmers to benefit from free seeds
Thousands of small-scale farmers from coffee growing counties will benefit from 140,000 seedlings in the current season with the Ministry of Agriculture is expected to distribute the seedlings to small-holders farmers across the coffee growing counties under a programme component of the Big Four agenda.
The government plans to increase coffee production to 100,000 tonnes by 2022 from the current between 40,000 and 50,000 tonnes.
Increasing production, government officials say, will enhance Kenya’s profile in the global coffee market currently standing at less than one percent.
Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organisation (Kalro) Director General Eliud Kireger said the government is determined to restore the lost glory in the coffee industry by assisting farmers with adequate and drought tolerant planting materials.
“ The government is partnering with other institutions to produce more planting coffee varieties mainly those that are resistant to effects of climate change and provide the same to farmers,” he said.
Kireger made the remarks during the handing over of 140,000 seedlings to Paul Musyoka of State corporation department who represented Agriculture Permanent Secretary Hamadi Boga at CRI headquarters Ruiru on Friday.
Coffee Sub-sector Implementation Committee chairman Joseph Kieyah said provision of adequate planting materials is set to tame the decreasing production and thus enhance the country’s profile internationally.
“The developed seedlings are set to help farmers expand their farms as well as replacing old varieties that are vulnerable to the vagaries of the climate change,” said he added.