Kenya: Coffee Production to Drop This Year Due to Climate Change

Nyeri — 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 coffee 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.

A Mount Kenya region-based agronomist Wangai Ndumia explained that coffee growing zones are facing a shortage of rains at a time when it is needed most to facilitate increased production.

The agronomist in addition said that the cold season denied coffee trees the necessary sunlight needed in order to subject the said trees to stress for enhanced flowering.

Extremely cold weather was experienced in most of the coffee growing zones in the months of June, July, August, and September this year.

“For coffee trees to properly flower, there ought to be three consecutive months of adequate sunlight. This did not happen this year,” he said.

Wangai was speaking in Mukurwe-ini during a farmers’ field day organized by the New Gikaru Cooperative Society.

The Society Chairman John Maina said adverse climatic changes have been the greatest challenge coffee farmers have faced this year.

He said that the adverse changes have it difficult for proper application of some coffee husbandry procedures such as various chemicals spraying and top dressing, all in an effort to boost production.

He nevertheless noted that farmers have not been receiving proper coffee management lessons in the past, adding that this necessitated the organisation of the field days.

“Currently most of our farmers are producing between two to three Kgs a bush annually. I am however sure that with proper guidance, production in a single bush can go up to 10 Kgs in a year,” the manager said.

A farmer, Weru Wachira said that an offer of a minimum guaranteed price by government shall caution him losses upon taking his produce to the market.

The farmers who hail from Muhito, Mukurweini said the government should also providing them with irrigation water to use in their coffee farms as this shall be the only way to increase production following inadequate rainfall.

The field day brought together over 3000 farmers drawn from Mukurweini and the neighboring environs of Mathira, Othaya and Tetu.


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