KENYA – Kenya produces an average of 45,000 MT of coffee annually, out of which, about 95% is exported as raw commodity to international markets.
Of the balance of 5%, about 2% is exported as value added while the other 3% is consumed locally in the country.
In comparison to other coffee producing countries, Kenya’s consumption rate is far much lower given that Ethiopia consumes 50% of its coffee, Brazil 40%, Columbia 35% and Guatemala 30%.
In a bid to change the narrative, the Agricultural and Food Authority (AFA) through the Coffee Directorate, has facilitated the establishment of coffee houses in universities to increase local consumption of the hot beverage among the youth.
The recently launched coffee outlets in Egerton University and Kenyatta University joins the establishments opened in Kenyan private universities i.e. at United States International University- Africa (USIU), being managed by Nairobi Java Coffee House Ltd and the other at Strathmore University, managed by Rockbern Coffee Ltd.
The initiative was supported with grants worth Ksh 2.8 million (US$25,500) from International Coffee Organization (ICO) through Inter- African Coffee Organization (IACO) and an additional Ksh 974,984 (US$8,900) from the Coffee Directorate.
According to reports by Kenya News Agency, establishment of the KU Coffee House costed Ksh 2.538m (US$23,150) with Egerton University’s receiving Ksh 1.236m (US$11,200).
The initiative was also in line with Resolution Number 465 of the International Coffee Organization passed in 2018 to help address the consumption disparity among countries as a means of stabilization of coffee price fluctuation pendulums.
“The Ministry targets to open four more coffee houses in public universities within a period of four years.
“This will see the growth of consumption of Kenyan coffee from the current 3 per cent to 7 per cent by the end of the year 2025,” Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said
The KU Coffee House has coffee brewing equipment installed by the Coffee Directorate, who also conducted a three-day professional training of ten officers as baristas from Kenyatta University.
The training has equipped the baristas and waiters with the ability to prepare various coffee flavours such as cappuccino, vanilla late, mocha, macchiato, among others.
The Directorate also provided the initial 50 kg bag of coffee that was used to open the Coffee House.
As a result of aggressive promotional campaigns by the Coffee Directorate, the number of coffee houses has increased tremendously from 9 in 1997 to 355 in the year 2019.
There has also been a corresponding increase in the total volume of value-added coffee from 509 MT in 2009/2010 to 1,577 MT in 2019/2020.
“The opening of coffee houses at both Egerton and Kenyatta University will no doubt contribute to the future increase in the number of coffee houses as well as the total volume of value-added coffee consumed in Kenya,” the CS said.
Other than driving consumption rate of locally produced coffee in Kenya, last year, Dedan Kimathi University of Agriculture and Technology (DeKUT) started the use of the cash crop in flavouring milk yoghurt.
The university launched a new product dubbed, Royal Coffee Flavoured Yoghurt in partnership with Mukurweini Wakulima Dairy Limited (MWDL), a local dairy cooperative society.
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