Farmers in Keiyo South in Elgeyo Marakwet County have prepared at least 100,000 coffee seedlings for planting this season.
This comes after the farmers in Soy South Ward decided in 2018 to develop their own nurseries instead of buying the coffee seedlings from other areas.
Soy South Member of County Assembly (MCA), Jonah Tanui said it will be distributed to farmers to reduce the cost of procuring seedlings elsewhere at a higher cost of Sh70 per seedlings.
He added that currently a kilogram of coffee seeds goes for Sh7,500 which translates to 3,000 seedlings when planted which is cheaper as compared to buying a seedling at Sh70.
Tanui said that as leaders they resolved to support farmers with tree seedlings so as to reduce cost and ensure increased production.
The 100,000 tree seedlings were given to the farmers this year and they are looking forward to putting up 50kgs of coffee beans in their nurseries which will translate to more than 200,000 coffee seedlings.
“It’s a big campaign that we want our farmers to cultivate coffee as a cash crop because we have seen the better returns it brings,” said the MCA.
“As we speak, some farmers are millionaires now because they have been paid good amounts of money, an example is Komur Co-operative Society, who in the past one week has paid its members Sh12 million which is a big improvement from the past year,” said Tanui.
“Komur Cooperative Society had 36 tons last year, Turesha Cooperative Society sold Nine tons which translates to almost Sh25 million to our farmers,” he added.
The MCA added that after two years the farmers will be able to get double their earnings and the environment will be well conserved.
“If we plant coffee across the escarpment, landslides and wild fires will be minimal as it is a form of environmental conservation,” noted Tanui.
By Rennish Okong’o