• Coffee Seedlings at Nursery

  • Sugar Plantation

  • Ripe Coffee

  • Coffee Drying Process

  • Sugar cane Harvest

  • Sugar Bags

Coffee is grown in Kenya in what have been generally classified as upper midlands in both East and West of Rift Valley, between 1400 to 2000 metres above sea level. On the eastern part, coffee is grown on the slopes of Mt. Kenya, the Aberdare Ranges, Taita Hills and Machakos Hills. On the Western side, it is grown in the Kisii Highlands, Bungoma and Trans Nzoia. There are pockets of coffee growing areas in some other parts e.g. Marsabit, Siaya, Kakamega, Kericho and Nakuru.

The crop was introduced in Kenya in 1893 and by 1963 production stood at 43,778 metric tonnes from a total acreage of 45,538 hectares. The industry recorded an all time high production of 128,926 metric tonnes in 1987/88 from an estimated acreage of 170,000 hectares. It is widely recognized that the industry experienced phenomenal growth as a result of government and donor-supported intervention programmes.

Coffee is produced by approximately 700,000 small-scale growers and 3,411 plantations. The small-scale growers are organized under a co-operative system with the co-operative societies numbering 600 nationally.

The coffee industry has been an important contributor to the dominance of the agricultural sector in the Kenyan GDP. Since its introduction as a cash crop, it has remained one of the most important products of the country’s economy.

The industry, due to its forward and backward linkages, supports about 5 million Kenyans. It is a source of employment and livelihood to many Kenyans and plays a central role in the fight against poverty and food insecurity.

It was a major foreign exchange earner until 1987/88 when it was overtaken by other sectors and is now ranked 4th after horticulture, tea, and tourism. The industry now contributes about 3.2% of Kenya’s foreign exchange earnings, a drop from the 40% contribution in the good years gone by. The current production levels stand at 55,000 metric tonnes.

The coffee industry contributes about 0.2% to national GDP and about 8% of the total agricultural export earnings.
The acreage under coffee is currently at 113,500 Ha, with cooperatives accounting for 66 per cent of this acreage and producing 70 per cent of the total production.  At a glance, the coffee production in Kenya for the last five years is as tabulated below:

 


YEAR

PRODUCTION(MT)

NO. 60 KG BAGS

2010/11

36,629

                      610,483

2011/12

49,960

                      832,667

2012/13

39,825

                      663,750

2013/14

49,475

                      824,583

2014/15

42,038

700,629

                                                                                (Source: AFFA Coffee Directorate)

INITIATIVES BY THE GOVERNMENT AIMED AT REVITALIZATION OF THE COFFEE INDUSTRY;

  •           Liberalization of the industry through privatization of Marketing and Milling processes aimed at increased competition.
  •      Introduction of Direct Sales commonly referred to as the “Second window” to operate alongside the Central Auction system to accord coffee growers an opportunity to negotiate directly with overseas buyers.
  •      Debt waiver to Coffee farmers of Kshs.9.5 billion since 2006/07 – 2011/12.
  •      Establishment of the Commodities Fund to accord growers’ affordable credit – currently funding level portfolio of over Kshs. 2.5 billion.
  •      Enhanced Research activities and support services aimed at improved coffee productivity, quality and profitability such as the release of Batian coffee variety.
  •      Development of Kenya Coffee Brand Mark of Origin – Coffee Kenya – So Rich So Kenyan.
  •      Education of coffee industry players including the management of the coffee co-operatives / unions to improve governance and performance.