By Stanley Wabomba
Coffee farming is increasingly gaining popularity in non-traditional areas commonly known for maize and sugar cane farming.
Experts attribute this to devolution of agriculture and favorable coffee policies despite numerous challenges of high costs of production.
Agriculture Principal Secretary Dr. Richard Lesiyampe says demand for coffee seedlings has been on the increase, rising from 9 million in 2014 to 13 million seedlings last year.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Director of Agribusiness Marketing Development Dr. Johnson Irungu during the second National Coffee Conference at Coffee Research Foundation in Ruiru, Dr. Lesiyampe noted that the challenge facing coffee farming currently is some farmers opting to uproot coffee in favor of the real estate sector.
Kiambu County Executive for Agriculture Dr Monicah Juma says the county government is setting up policies that will see the coffee sector thrive to the benefit of farmers.
On his part, the Director of Research Dr. Samuel Gichuru says the Coffee Research Foundation is working round the clock to meet the demand for seedlings emerging from new zones as well as developing better yielding varieties.