kenya coffee


Not long ago, bartalks reported about the Kenyan government distributing subsidized fertiliser. In spite of this effort, the newest forecast shows that Kenyan yield this year might be lower by 10 per cent, dropping to around 700,000 bags.

In Kenya, fertiliser prices have gone up by as much as 71 percent compared to last year. The spike in price was caused by the war in Ukraine, since Ukraine, Belarus and Russia are all important producers and exporters of fertiliser. Sanctions and embargoes also made the transport of the fertiliser more difficult. The Kenyan government is battling these rising costs by subsidizing fertiliser, offering it cheaper to the producers.

Additionally, Reuters reports that “yields in MY 2022/23 are expected to decline due to cyclical variations. Arabica coffee undergoes a three-year cycle, with yields increasing over two years and then falling in the third. Many of Kenya’s coffee trees are primed to experience declining yields in MY 2022/23 after peaking in MY 2021/22.”

At the moment, the world is experiencing a coffee crisis due to various factors: the 2021 frost in Brazil, logistics bottlenecks, and the war in Ukraine. Aside from fertilisers, the cost of coffee has also gone up, including in Kenya. According to the report by Marketscreener, “Kenya’s coffee prices at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange rose by 18 per cent to an average price of $328 a 50-kilogram bag.”

This rise has attracted some farmers back to their abandoned coffee trees, which might contribute to the total Kenyan output. On the other hand, the report by Reuters also highlights “a problem of shortage of planting materials, particularly coffee seeds which are primarily supplied by Kenya’s Coffee Research Institute (CRI).”

The institute “sells coffee seeds at cost to Kenyan farmers, but seed production has been disrupted due to high production costs and limited resources. Coffee seed production is very labour-intensive, requiring hand pollination and controlled irrigation of coffee trees.” Due to lower production, coffee export is expected to decrease as well.

Photo by Geresu Kitessa, USAID on Pixnio

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