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‘Know Your Market Before Maximizing Coffee Yields’

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Prossy Nandudu

Joseph Nkandu, trainer from NUCAFE or National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises, a group of farmers training expo goers about farming as a business including post-harvest handling and innovations. Picture by Eddy Sejoba

Although there is a call from all sections of the public, including the Government, for an increase in coffee production, experts have a different view. At the ongoing training session on growing coffee as a business at the 2024 Harvest Money Expo taking place at the Kololo Independence grounds, farmers have been asked to first know their target market. Joseph Nkandu, the executive director of NUCAFE, a coffee farmers’ organisation with about 2.2 million farmers countrywide, said knowing the market will guide seed selection, nutrients to apply, and technologies to use. Knowing the market will enable the farmer to look out for knowledge in terms of production, types of nutrients, influencing policy, and also making use of science through research. He added that this should be backed by farmers interested in what he termed farmer ownership. “Once a farmer takes ownership of the farm, there will be effective monitoring and good management practices,” Nkandu says.

Farmers speak out

During the interactive session, Farmers wanted more information on the spacing of coffee. application of nutrients. Some farmers wanted to know how to manage coffee pest residues. They called for the enforcement of standards, and wanted to know the appropriate pesticides to apply in coffee farming, among others.

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