SCALING THE HEIGHTS OF COFFEE PRODUCTION IN KIAMBU COUNTY.
Coffee currently ranks fourth after tourism, tea and horticulture in export revenue. Additionally, coffee contributes to the growth of agriculture through the incomes of family farms, as well as to job creation and food security, supporting millions of people.
The Action to relaunch Agriculture and Branding Internationalization of Kenyan Coffee in and Out of Africa (Arabika Project) works in 7 counties, Kiambu being one of them.
In our quest to assess the strides made since the inception of the project, we paid a visit to Gitwe Farmers’ Cooperative Society, situated on the outskirts of Nairobi County and nestled within a picturesque coffee plantation.
Upon our arrival, we found the workers concluding the coffee pulping process just minutes before 11:00 AM. They graciously led us to the pulping room, where the unmistakable aroma of coffee enveloped the space, accompanied by smiles on their faces. In unison, they enthusiastically exclaimed, “ARABIKA!” capturing the essence of the moment.
The Gitwe FCS team and the Arabika Project staff during a visit to the cooperative
“We witness progress. Remarkable progress,” boldly declares the secretary-manager of Gitwe, acknowledging the positive impact of the Arabika initiative on their cooperative.
In a notable achievement, the cooperative has experienced a substantial surge in coffee production, rising from 700,000 kgs to an impressive 1,100,000 kgs compared to the previous season. The credit for this significant improvement goes to the Arabika Project, which has facilitated numerous training sessions for the farmers. These training opportunities have empowered farmers to enhance their skills and increase overall productivity.
The Arabika Project collaborates with three cooperatives within the county, namely Gitwe Farmers’ Cooperative Society, Kimaratia Farmers’ Cooperative Society, and Ritho Farmers’ Cooperative Society. This collaborative effort focuses on working closely with farmers and cooperatives to enhance their technical and managerial skills.
During our visit to Gitwe Farmers’ Cooperative Society, the farmers expressed their elation, sharing how the project has significantly increased and improved their production. The project’s objective is to raise the income of small-scale farmers, aiming to elevate it from an average of 65 Kenyan Shillings per Kg to at least 85 Kenyan Shillings per Kg or more. Furthermore, the goal is to enhance production from approximately 2.5 Kg per tree to 5 Kg per tree. The enthusiasm among the farmers reflected the tangible positive impact of the Arabika Project on their agricultural practices and economic well-being.
Furthermore, the cooperative has ventured into branding its own coffee, a development made possible through the intervention of the Arabika Project. The cooperative members have undergone specialized training in Coffee Branding, a crucial skill that not only adds value to their product but also plays a pivotal role in helping farmers augment their revenue. This strategic initiative demonstrates the holistic approach of the Arabika Project, not only focusing on production but also empowering cooperatives with the tools to effectively market and brand their coffee products.
Coffee Branding in Kiambu County
Article written by: Stella Aswani- Communications Officer- Arabika Project Kenya
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