By Wasike Elvis.
Coffee farmers have been urged to join Co-operative societies to be empowered financially and to get assistance from the government.
Coffee Management System General Manager, Martin Ngare said this will also help them to get advice from experts.
“Through belonging to a Co-operative it will be easier for them to look for markets and to sell at appropriate prices without being exploited by middlemen,” he stated while speaking to Sacco Review recently.
Ngare urged farmers to venture into coffee farming, saying there is no crop that is more profitable than Coffee.
“One acre of coffee with 1,000 seedlings can produce 10 kilos per plant and with a selling price of at least 70 per kilo one can pocket Sh700,000 per year,” he noted.
“You can get even Sh1million annually if you plant high quality new varieties of coffee such as Batian and Ruiru Eleven which is disease resistant, high yielding and fast maturing, if managed well, “he added.
Ngare, however, decried the low number of Kenyans consuming coffee as compared to tea, adding: “Despite Kenya producing the best coffee in the world of 45 to 50 metric tonnes yearly only 5 per cent is consumed locally while the rest is exported”.
He called on the County and National governments to make it easy for coffee farmers to access financial support for them to improve production.