KENYA – Nestlé Kenya has unveiled a Sh23 million (US$230,000) program that seeks to boost coffee production in the Central and Western regions of the country.

Njeru Ng’entu, Nestl East Africa Managing Director, said that the three year program, which will be implemented under the Nescafe Plan, will help in training and offering technical support to coffee farmers in the country.

Speaking at Kimama Farmers’ Cooperative Society in Cheptais, Western Kenya, Ng’entu said that the third phase of the project dubbed Coffee by Women is expected to reach close to 18,000 coffee farmers over the course of implementation.

“The renewal of the Nescafé plan follows the successes made in our earlier two phases where we invested over Sh70million (US$700,000).

On average, the Farmers’ Co-operative Societies recorded a 12 per cent rise in coffee production while the quantity of coffee produced per tree by farmers who partially adopted the good agricultural practices increased from 2.5 kilos per tree to up-to 7kilos per tree between 2011 and 2018,” said Ng’entu

Ng’entu added that those who fully adopted the good agricultural practices recorded a 300 per cent productivity growth from 2.5 kilogram per tree at inception to 13 kilogram.

In this third phase, 5,300 farmers in the program who are women and will receive training on how to best to grow coffee in an efficient and sustainable manner reports The Standard.

Thousands of farmers from the first two phases of the Nescafe Plan have adopted the Batian coffee variety, a high yielding and disease resistant cultivar, which is expected to propel production by more than double in the next three years.

Nestlé Kenya, through its implementation partner the Coffee Management Services (CMS) Limited, has already identified 12 coffee farmers’ cooperative societies and 24 wet mills to be part of this renewed programme.

The Nescafé Plan is a global initiative by Nestlé to create value across the coffee supply chain, from farmers to consumers.

“Another aim of the Nescafé Plan has been to promote the inclusion of women and youth in coffee farming and cooperatives administration, both of which recorded tremendous success in the initial phases.” said Mr. Ng’entu.

Coffee management Services Management Director, Kamau Kuria, said the first two phases had already reached 42,000 farmers, which included 8,500 women and 3,000 youth.

“The first two phases of the project were remarkably successful, impacting over 42,000 farmers who were trained on good agricultural practices,” said Kuria.