The County Government of Trans Nzoia will increase land under coffee from the current 2,535 hectares to 10,000 hectares by the year 2023.
Speaking to The Scholar Media Africa, the County Executive Committee Member in charge of Agriculture Mrs. Marry Nzomo said her department is committed to increasing the production of the crop.
This, she said, will assist farmers in the county broaden their income base.
Mrs. Nzomo said coffee farming had provided an opportunity for farmers and other stakeholders to reflect on achievements attained in the coffee value chain.
“Farmers are facing low production and inadequate value addition, high cost of production, narrow markets, negative climate change impacts and unaffordable credit, and infrastructure,” she said.
Mrs Nzomo said this was the reason the county government was moving with speed to address the issues for the betterment of farmers.
She applauded the efforts and support of stakeholders like Solidaridad that is working to address some of the challenges farmers are facing.
She added that more than 1,000 farmers in Trans Nzoia county have been trained on good agricultural and manufacturing practices.
She said that coffee was the fourth leading foreign exchange earner after tea, tourism and horticulture.
She said the industry has directly and indirectly supported close to five million Kenyans because of its transformative nature right from the farm along the value chain.
Mrs. Nzomo said that last season, farmers produced over 36,000 metric tons.
This earned the country Ksh17.4 billion, with Trans Nzoia County producing approximately 749 metric tons of clean coffee valued at Ksh. 215 million.
This was an improvement from 658 metric tons of clean coffee in 2018/19, with a total of 3,910 small-scale farmers and 327 small, medium and large coffee estates.
Mrs. Nzomo said that 17,992 people in the county derive their livelihood from coffee at the farm level.
The county has a total of 27 Cooperative societies out of which 21 are active.
Mrs Nzomo said the department is implementing a crop diversification program to mitigate against risks associated with over-dependence on
Under the program, the county government is promoting tissue culture bananas, coffee, tea, avocados, macadamia, and apples.
The County government in partnership with Solidaridad has put up 100,000 capacity coffee nurseries for the Muroki coffee farmers society.
It has also donated over 2,000 macadamia seedlings to the coffee
This can be planted with coffee as a shade tree and also generates income for farmers.
County Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives Chief Officer Shadrack Kimtai who also spoke to The Scholar Media said they have provided coffee seedlings at subsidized prices.
This is to promote and ensure quality coffee production in the county.
Mr Kimtai urged stakeholders involved in the coffee subsector to engage with all value chain players.
This will enhance coffee production and productivity in the county.
“I wish to call upon the small scale and large scale producers, the co-operatives, the millers, the roasters, and the agro-dealers to work closely and efficiently to support coffee production,” he said.
Solidaridad representative Catharine Maina called upon the county government to continue supporting the farmers.
She called upon coffee farmers to work together.
This will enable them to speak in one voice.
Maina added that the establishment of a 100,000 coffee nursery at the Muroki will enable farmers from the area to have access quality seedlings and at subsidized prices.
You can also read AGRIBUSINESS: Farmers ditch maize for passion fruits farming