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Profitable Coffee Farming in Kenya

Coffee is one of the major cash crops in East Africa. Contrary to what people think, or read on social media, Coffee farming can make you a millionaire. What most people don’t tell you is how coffee is catered for and how you can make more money from few coffee bushes.

According to Coffee Research Institute (CRI), a farmer can earn more than KSh 640,000 per acre per year. Assuming you have 10 acres, you will make more than 6.4 million per year. With more than 10 acres you become one of the key people that will offer employment to the youth and women as well as creating wealth for yourself.

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The management of CRI, is now urging people to invest in coffee farming. CRI through their continued research have come up with a Batian variety, which has taken over 30 years of dedicated research. This variety is resistant to diseases, requires less to produce, and can yield as much as 40 kgs of berries per year in a single tree.

The major counties that originally produced coffee include, Meru, Tharaka -nithi, Nyeri, Embu, Nakuru, Kirinyaga, Machakos, Makueni, Nyamira, Bungoma, Kisii and Muranga. Others include, West pokot, Trans Nzoia, Uasingishu, ElgeyoMarakwet, Nandi, Baringo, Kericho, Bomet, Laikipia, Narok, Kajiado, Kakamega, Vihiga, Homa bay, Migori, Busia, Siaya, TaitaTaveta and Kwale. Seedlings are of date available in those counties in certified private nurseries, farmers co-operatives as well as Coffee Research Institute regional offices.

Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world after oil. The global appeal and increasing demand for quality coffee from Kenya is an assurance of increased demand.  In 2014, Kenya branded coffee was voted best in the world by the leading coffee taster.

In 2014, international market registered 146 bags millions of bags with consumption recorded at 142 million bags. Coffee consumption is estimated to be growing by 2 per cent annually. In the past decade, Kenyan coffee sector has undergone various changes, both at policy and production levels. The demand for coffee is huge. Currently, the country is producing 50 000 metric tons against the potential of 130 000 metric tons. It is time to make money. Start or increase acreage under coffee but also enhance productivity per bush through quality coffee management.

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Misconceptions

Over time now, coffee has been associated with old age and poor payments. It is time for young people to move in and revive the sector. It is not a must to join a cooperative to sell your coffee. Those who Know how to do it are making millions, Gachatha co-operative in Nyeri County farmers were this year paid over Ksh 100 per kilogram. Some people like Equity CEO James Mwangi are major large-scale farmers who make millions out of the berries.

With more than 5 acres you get licensed to operate a pulping station and sell to millers. The technology in pulping has also improved. You can get a nice machine from as low as KSh. 60,000. There are several cases of young people who have become millionaires by getting it right.

It’s time to get our hands dirty and make clean money, you don’t have to be corrupt to make it in Kenya, try farming and when you think coffee, do it right and see the difference.