By Ndungu Gachane
A partnership between Nestlé, the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company and Coffee Management Services (CMS), an agribusiness firm offering coffee farm management services in East Africa has yielded to high production and quality coffee.
The partnership which entails deploying highly trained agronomists to coffee farms in bid to train farmers on the best agricultural practices has revolutionized coffee farming which has resulted to the high premium grades an interpretation of putting money in farmers’ pockets.
Milka Nyambura is one of the happy farmers in Gakui village in Kandara Constituency who says with the help of an agronomist, her yields have risen from 1200 kilograms to 2080 thanks to the training on observance of the coffee calendar on spraying, pruning and the general crop husbandry.
The program has seen Milka Nyambura amongst many other farmers receive the latest agricultural practices and technologies in coffee farming with the farmer saying with the increased production on the best grades, she has started appreciating and focusing more on coffee farming.
“I never took coffee farming as a serious venture, but an year after the program, I wake up early in the morning to tend my 172 coffee bushes, I’m now literate on what my coffee farm needs so that I can get abundant harvest,” Ms Nyambura says adding that she now rely on coffee farming to raise her family and to cater for other household expenses and paying school fees to her school going children.
Mr Peter Njoroge, the chairperson for Gakui Coffee Farmers Society said the society has upgraded their coffee production and premium grades.
He says the production has risen to 450,000 kilograms from 230,000 where 420,000 is premium grades which means more money to coffee farmers.
Mr Njoroge avers that in the next five years, they project to have a single coffee bush produce at least 15 kilograms of coffee cherries.
Phyllis Warui an officer from Coffee Management Services (CMS) said with the intervention of the program they project an increase of 9.4 million kilograms from 8.4 million of cherries.
She noted that the impact on production and quality grades has been on the trajectory move as farmers are now reaping big from the coffee farming due to motivation from proceeds they earn due to their better grades.
On their part, the Nestle representative said they also include youth and women in the plan so as to have a tremendous success in the whole chain a strategy the officer noted has also made the coffee farming business to be owned and cherished by families.
“Another aim of the Nescafé Plan has been to promote the inclusion of women and youth in coffee farming and cooperatives administration, both of which recorded tremendous success and seen families owning the farming business.” The Neslte officer noted.