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Coffee union target to distribute 1 million coffee seedlings

Meru Central Coffee Union (MCCU) targets to distribute one million coffee seedlings during the ongoing rainy season.

Speaking to KNA, the Union’s Chief Agronomist Mr Eric Munene said they had already made tremendous steps in raising and distributing of quality coffee seedlings and were still aiming more before the end of the season.

He said the Union has so far distributed about 360,000 seedlings within Meru County and this was expected to go higher after forging a partnership with Kenya Coffee Research Institute (KCRI) in the raising of coffee seedlings.

“We are happy that KCRI recognised our efforts in growing and distribution of quality tree seedlings to farmers and as a result ended up partnering with us in this endeavour,” said Mr Munene.

With their support, he added, the union will manage to supply the seedlings to other counties who were placing their requests including Kericho, Nandi, Bungoma, Embu, Kirinyaga, and Nyeri.

He said the demand for the seedlings was rising by the day making them unable to meet them altogether.

“We are receiving high demand for the seedlings but we are doing our best to meet them though sometimes it becomes hard,” said Mr Munene.

He said in Meru County alone, the current demand for the seedling stood at 200,000 seedlings.

He however expressed concerns over private nursery owners who were duping farmers by selling them substandard seedlings adding that this would make the farmers lose confidence in coffee farming.

“We are calling on our farmers to be careful while buying the seedlings to avoid getting into the unscrupulous dealers’ traps,” said Mr Munene.

The Union’s Board Chairman Mr Ephantus Majau said the Union embarked on the raising of seedlings to increase the coffee population in the County and the region at large.

He called on farmers both the existing and the new ones to make good use of the Union’s nurseries in order to get quality seedlings that will eventually give them the appropriate yields.

“We want to revive coffee farming in Meru and Mount Kenya region at large and this will be realised if we ensure our farmers have the right quality of coffee trees,” said Mr Majau.

By Dickson Mwiti

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