2ND FEBRUARY 2018 BY KNA
The county government of Murang’a has put in place intervention measures that will help increase coffee production from the current 35 million tones per year up to 70 million tones annually in the next two years.
The county Chief Executive Committee member (CEC) for Agriculture Albert Mwaniki said the county government was working closely with farmers by providing incentives such as provision of quality seeds as one way of reviving the sector.
Mwaniki said apart from providing seedlings, the county government has also been giving farmers free manure sourced from pastoralists in Kajiado County.
This came as it emerged that poor seedlings and archaic methods of coffee farming were to blame for the declining production of the crop that was once a cash crop for thousands of farmers in the area.
The CEC said the county government was determined to revive the sector by ensuring coffee production goes back to where it was thirty years ago.
“We have since provided our farmers with 4 million modern seed varieties and this has seen our production increasing to what it is currently with a projection to get to the 70 million mark in two years”, he said.
The official further said the county had come up with ‘adopt a coffee tree’ campaign initiative that will see farmers take care of 50 coffee trees in each homestead, a move he said was aimed at increasing coffee acreage and quality produce.
“We want to follow up and see how farmers are taking care of the coffee trees and our officers will move from one farm to another as part of the efforts to revive the sector in the county”, he said.
Mwaniki was addressing the press during the ongoing coffee round table meeting involving the CEC and the council of governors being held at Enashipai Resort in Naivasha.
Agriculture chairman in the council of Governors Stephen Sang said the council had agreed to urgently undertake legal reforms in the coffee sector describing the sector as very crucial to the economy of the country as it employs thousands of Kenyans either directly or indirectly.
Sang who is the Nandi governor said the council had agreed on various interventions that needed to be implemented by both the national and county governments to help improve coffee production in the country.