Kenyan coffee farmers are set to earn 24 per cent more income after the average price of a 50kg per bag rose from Sh19,666 last week to Sh24,442 this week driven by delivery of quality beans despite falling international prices.
The prices are expected to hold on for the next two months as famers from Western and Eastern Kenya deliver good beans according to the Nairobi Coffee Exchange.
This comes at a time when the area under coffee production increased by 700 hectares from 114,000 hectares in 2015/16 to 114,700 hectares in 2016/17 according to the Economic Survey 2018 report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
Despite increase in area under production however, coffee production decreased by 11.5 per cent from 46.1 thousand tonnes in 2015/16 to 40.8 thousand tonnes in 2016/17. The decline was attributable to cold and rainy weather conditions, the bi-modal production system where the crop takes time to recover in one year; and extended dry weather during picking which adversely affected coffee production.
Coffee production by cooperatives declined by 14 per cent from 30.8 thousand tonnes in 2015/16 to 26.5 thousand tonnes in 2016/17. The average yield for cooperatives and estates decreased by 16.3 per cent and 10.3 per cent, respectively in the 2016/17 season.
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Coffee beans. Courtesy
Coffee is Kenya’s fourth leading foreign exchange in Kenya after tea, tourism and horticulture.
The crop is grown mostly grown under cooperatives (75.5 per cent) with smallholder farmers accounting for 24.5 per cent.