European Union - Othaya Farmers Coffee Productivity Project

The European Union, in partnership with Othaya Farmers Co-operative Society Limited, under the contracting authority of Coffee Research Foundation (CRF) have embarked on a Coffee Productivity Project aimed at increasing productivity and commercialization of coffee production systems through increased adoption of improved coffee varieties of Ruiru II and Batian. Othaya Farmers will work with its more than 11 000 farmers to distribute the seedlings and extend their hand to other farmers in the larger Nyeri County and neighbouring counties of Murang’a, Kirinyaga and Kiambu.
This Project has been found relevant as the following problems need to be addressed:
  • Most farmers have the old varieties that are prone to Coffee Berry Disease (CBD) and Leaf Rust. This increases cost of production in buying chemicals and spraying equipment, in turn affecting the quality of beans for those who cannot afford chemicals, and the poor quality beans affect the prices of the beans and finally affects the final payment to the farmer.

  • Lack of trusted sources of licensed nurseries. Most farmers do not trust local nurseries as there are cases of new varieties being affected by CBD on the rise.

  • Cost of accessing new varieties. This is mainly due to the transportation cost of seedlings from CRF to the farmer. Thus the cost to seedling ratio is high.

The Coffee Productivity Project is relevant to the target groups and final beneficiaries as follows:
Farmers will have a trusted source of seedlings for the new varieties of coffee
Farmers will cut down on the cost of production with less use of chemicals
Beneficiaries will have an improved living standard as a result of many jobs being created along various coffee stages of production, processing, distribution and support services.
Increase in production per tree as current production is around 1.5 to 2kg per tree which is very low.