Coffee farmers in Nyeri County are set for better fortunes in the next season after the county government bought fertiliser to be distributed at a subsidised price.
The county government procured 30,000 bags of CAN fertiliser at a cost of Sh1,500 per bag, totalling to Sh45 million.
The move has seen the coffee societies save more than Sh45 million. Earlier the farmers bought a bag at Sh3,300 but this will reduce by at least 50 per cent.
Governor Nderitu Gachagua said the goal was to help farmers access affordable inputs and revitalise farming with the intention of doubling production in this year’s coffee crop.
The governor said use of the fertiliser would result in a rise in coffee production in the county from 12 million kilogrammes to 30 million kilogrammes in the next season.
With fertiliser application he said each coffee bush would yield up to 40kgs from 3kgs previously.
The farmers had expressed dissatisfaction with the returns from their farms. A task force on the coffee sector in the region revealed that returns were highly affected by the high prices of fertiliser as farmers drained most of their earnings in buying the commodity. The level of production per farmer was also low resulting to low earnings.
These findings prompted the Nyeri government to try and reduce the burden on the farmer through subsidised fertiliser and sourcing of good markets.
Mr Gachagua urged the farmers to take advantage of the project to double their yield and earnings from coffee.
Mr Gachagua assured the farmers of availability of coffee market both locally and internationally saying that coffee from the region was on high demand.
He said the county was working towards securing better prices for the commodity at the coffee auction and international markets.
The governor distributed 14,865 bags of the fertiliser to all the 23 cooperative societies in the county to be delivered to the 103 coffee factories. The fertiliser, he said, would be in the form of advances to farmers, which will be recovered upon harvest and sale of the crop.