Kenyan coffee farmers adopt single stem pruning to boost yields

Coffee farmers in the Nyeri County of Kenya are adopting new methods for coffee production which they hope would increase their yields and earnings.

The method, dubbed single stem pruning, allows a farmer to only tend to one stem in a coffee bush and cut off all the others.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), this way of farming would enable new stems to grow in the place of the stems you cut off.

Chairman of the farmers’ group, Patrick Muchiri Wokabi speaking during the field visit said the system if perfected will improve production, quality and quantity produced by two folds.

“The reason why we have come up with this model is that with normal farming where farmers tend to three or more stems, the quality of coffee berries remains poor so grades such as AA and AB which fetch premium prices can never be realised,” he noted.

However, this development comes in at a time when coffee production in the country is subsiding due to neglect of farming of the crop by many farmers.

Wokabi revealed that they are planning to build their factory to ensure that they market their crop after identifying buyers.

“We as a group do not want to mix our crop with that from other farmers since we know most of their produce is low-grade coffee.”

Kenya’s production has drastically reduced to about 20,000 metric tons a year, unlike in the eighties when they had doubled this production capacity.

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