The Star (Nairobi)

26 August 2014

Kenya: EU to Boost Coffee Growing in Bungoma

The European Union through the Coffee Research Foundation has launched a project to popularise coffee farming in Bungoma county.

This aims to increase cash crops in the county.

Sugarcane, the main cash crop in the county, has been facing numerous challenges among them delayed payment to farmers.

Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka, who presided over the launch of the project, urged farmers to venture into coffee and tea farming.

He said the sub-grants' awards is aimed at accelerating the production and adoption of improved coffee varieties.

Lusaka said improved varieties will boost production and increase farmers' earnings.

"The county has a long tradition of coffee farming that dates back to the colonial era. Most coffee plantations were established with the traditional varieties characterised by low productivity and susceptibility to diseases. Coffee farming will now become more profitable and attract more farmers," he said.

Lusaka said the county allocated land to the foundation in Namwela village to establish a research sub-station to take advantage of good soils and other environmental conditions.

"The substation has benefited local farmers by providing research services such as soil sampling and analysis, coffee planting materials and advisory services. However, the demands for these services have continued to grow, which requires a commensurate growth in research capacity," he said.

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