14 Nov 2022
This coffee is produced by numerous smallholder farmers and processed at the Karatu Coffee Factory. The Factory is a member of the Gitwe Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS), where factory manager David Kanya ensures that all cooperative members are trained to sort and deliver uniform ripe cherries.
Coffee is not the only crop produced by the farmers – most of them also grow tea, maize, and legumes that later on are sold in the local market. The highlands of Kenya have excellent conditions for agricultural purposes.
The red volcanic soil, well-distributed rainfall, and moderate temperatures are what give Kenyan coffee its unique profile. Most of the coffee varieties grown by the farmers are the SL28 & SL34. The Ruiru 11 varietal comprises about 1% of all the coffee grown. Although comprising very little of each cooperative member's total production, Ruiru is slowly becoming more widespread in the region due to its resistance to coffee berry disease and coffee leaf rust.
The cooperative has undertaken actions to increase yields and improve their members’ livelihoods. In partnership with Coffee Management Services (CMS), their field service agent, the long-term goal is to increase coffee production through farmer training, ready access to inputs, Good Agricultural Practice seminars and providing the most current informational materials on sustainable farming.
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