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Benchmarking programme to benefit Murang’a Coffee farmers

A coffee and tea sector lobby has organized a benchmarking programme for a section of Murang’a coffee farmers in a bid to boost production of the cash crop in the county.

More than 30 farmers from Wanjengi Cooperative society, will make the first bunch to visit and learn new agronomy practices from the best performing coffee factories within Nyeri County.

The Lobby which is chaired by Irungu Nyakera is sponsoring the programme aimed at equipping the farmers with needed knowledge to help increase coffee production which has been dwindling in the past years.

Speaking after meeting farmers from Wanjengi factory in Kiharu, Nyakera said the programme will be crucial considering coffee societies in Nyeri and Kirinyaga counties are doing well in terms of high yields.

He noted that on average a bush of coffee should produce more than 10 kilos but unfortunately farmers in Murang’a harvest less than two kilos of cherry per bush.

Nyakera observed that before the end of the programme, representatives drawn from all 44 coffee cooperatives in Murang’a will go for the benchmarking visits.

The programme dubbed Kahawa Boost, Nyakera stated that is focused on helping farmers in Murang’a to reclaim its national position as a leading coffee producing county.

“This programme will see farmers learn new ways on how to increase production per bush to at least 10 kilogrammes, and grow cooperative total cherry volumes to at least one million kilos.” added Nyakera.

The programme which kicked off this week will also benefit farmers drawn from Wahundura, SabaSaba, Kinogerama, Kabati, Njora and Kanyenyaini coffee cooperatives societies.

The chairman said during the visits, the farmers will also learn alternative income generation options, factory management and best agronomy practices.

Since November, 2021 Irungu Nyakera Foundation has been supporting coffee factories in Murang’a with metallic drying beds and issuance of coffee seedlings in preparation for the growth of coffee production.

Nyakera observed that all 144 factories in the county will get metallic coffee beds in efforts to maintain quality of coffee.

He urged the national government to fast-track coffee reforms aimed to remove the conflict of interest and lack of governance in the sector as well as assure farmers of guaranteed minimum returns.

The reforms are also purported to streamline operations of coffee cooperatives and increase investment in the coffee sector.

By Bernard Munyao

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