For two consecutive years, Kenya coffee production has dropped –pushing the country further behind Africa’s top producers of the commodity in spite of rebounds in international market pricing.
Recent data from the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) in May indicate that production fell from 930,000 sixty-kilogramme bags in 2018 to 775,000 in the 2020 crop year.
The conversion of coffee farmlands to other more lucrative crops and real estate projects, outdated farming practices and climatic changes have all been attributed to the falling production in recent years.
Kenya is the fifth largest producer of coffee in Africa behind Ethiopia (7.38 million bags), Uganda (5.62 million bags), Ivory Coast (1.78 million bags) and Tanzania (913,000 bags).
Higher prices are, however giving farmers a reason to smile despite the lower production, with lower production in Brazil, which is the world’s leading coffee grower—helping boost prices.
Currently, the price of coffee at the New York Exchange, which is used as a benchmark for all world prices, is at a high of $2 per pound from 144 cents in April.
Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge said in a briefing on September 29, 2021.
Between January and August, coffee exports grew by 15.2 percent to Sh20.1 billion ($182 million), helped by the higher global prices and lower supply from Brazil.
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