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Embu farmers sensitised to enhance production 

A total of 500 coffee farmers from Kururumwe Cooperative Society in Manyatta Constituency, Embu, have benefited from training by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), to help them enhance production and income.

The five-month long training facilitated by Kenya Good Neighbors, an International Humanitarian and Development Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), , saw the farmers taken through all the modules of coffee farming and are in turn expected to train others.

The NGO Project Director, Youngmi Kim, said the training covered a wide range of key areas, including soil fertility, coffee plant nutrition, primary processing, quality assessment and coffee tree canopy management.

Other area include disease, insects and pest control and management as well as understanding the whole coffee value chain, from production to marketing.

She said when coffee quality improves, prices will be higher and farmers will benefit more.

The Project Director advised farmers to also be keen on some aspects that affect the quality, including harvesting at the right time, delivering to the factory on the same day and conducting color sorting before submission.

She also announced plans in future to carry out a similar project in other coffee growing regions in the country, to equip farmers with the appropriate knowledge.

KOICA Kenya Deputy Country Director, Songi Han, said the project also further cements bilateral relationship between Kenya and Korea.

She said it was equally meaningful to those who have been trained and expected to pass the knowledge and skills gained to other farmers.

The Director challenged the farmers to fully utilise the knowledge and skills gained, to make a difference in the sector of coffee farming.

“If we are able to have more and more farmers educated and be able to produce 10 kilos per tree, the coffee industry in Embu will change and develop further as well as attract more market,” she said.

Deputy Governor, Kinyua Mugo, said the training was timely, noting that it was organised at a time production was at all-time low with three kilos per tree per annum

“I am sure, out of this, now we are targeting to grow our coffee production from the normal three kilos per tree to 10,” he said.

Farmers who benefited with the training were upbeat, that the training greatly transform their coffee farms into profitable businesses.

Farmer Albert Ireri, said he was sure if they apply the skills learnt in coffee management, they will enhance productions and incomes.

By Samuel Waititu

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