In Kenya coffee is grown in at least seven of the eight provinces.
The only region where coffee is not grown is the northeastern province because it is too dry for the crop.
In Kenya, the main type of coffee grown is Arabika. small amount of Robusta coffee is grown in western Kenya but the output is insignificant.
The following are problems facing coffee farming in Kenya
in many areas where coffee is grown, the soil is exhausted and smallholders can not afford the fertilizers required to reinstate the soil back to the required fertility level.
Coffee uses a lot of nutrients which need to be replenished regularly
Adverse weather condition
there are times when rainfall is unreliable and drought condition set in causing berries to ripen prematurely and falling off hence causing loss to farmers
Shortage of capital
farmers usually have a problem of capital to improve their farms and even improve farm infrastructure.
Coffee farming requires heavy capital investment in terms of inputs and labor.
Shortage of labor
labor is sometimes in short supply, especially during the harvesting period.
This leads to some ripe berries becoming dry as they are not harvested in time.
The dry blackberries carry lower prices since they are of lower quality
Prevalence of diseases
there are three very harmful diseases that affect coffee planting in Kenya.
These are coffee berry diseases, leaf rust, and armillaries mellea
Competition from other crops
because of many problems that coffee farmers are facing, some farmers have uprooted the coffee trees and have started horticultural farming
Mismanagement of co-operative societies
the coffee co-operative societies are frequently changing their leadership with some even closing down because of poor management.
Coffee farming in Kenya faces several problems, including pests and diseases, low prices, and lack of access to credit and other resources.
These problems have significant impacts on the livelihoods of farmers and the overall sustainability of the coffee industry in Kenya.
To address these problems, it is important to invest in research and development to improve crop management practices, such as integrated pest management and disease control.
Also, farmers should be encouraged to diversify their income by growing other crops, and also consider alternative income generating activities.
Furthermore, the government and other organizations should work to improve access to credit and other resources for farmers, to help them improve their livelihoods and sustain the coffee industry in Kenya.
With these efforts, the coffee farming industry in Kenya can overcome the challenges it faces and continue to be a vital source of income and employment for the country.