Many of them cut down their coffee trees in the early 90's when the coffee prices fell down Internationally.
Hundrends of these farmers need a lot of conviction to replant again the coffee bushes. Many have abandoned the coffee farms or simply put up rental structures!
Our volunteer group in Kenya is comprised of youth and we have vowed to put back some sence into the coffee sector. Why cant it pay the farmers? is it not a business just like any other?
We took our jembes ( hoes) and headed back to the fields! Operation planting new coffee bushes!
The Coffee Research Foundation of Kenya has ben there since time immemorial. Why dont we put to use what those amazing researchers have been working on for years? Their findings are just covered with dust somewhere...
My grandmother is 88 years old, she is still a poor coffee farmer. We do not expect her to understand what CRF researched on...but we can!
Coffee variety SL 28 and SL 34 is what most of my community grows. This variety takes 3-4 years before you can harvest your first coffee bean! How many of you have a patience of 4 years?
In our research we discovered that CRF produced a new coffee variety called Batian.
''The variety known as Batian is high yielding and is expected to boost coffee production in the country. Batian is quick to establish, producing results after 18-24 months upon being planted, in addition to being suitable to all Arabica coffee growing areas.''The Variety is tall, high yielding, resistant to coffee berry disease and leaf rust''
Bingo!! Santa had come early!! is this not what we had been looking for?
a) A variety that took less time to mature?- you see my people had been dissapointed for too long; i couldnt get them to start toiling their land again and wait for 4 years: they wanted their money yesterday :(
b) For years they had struggled with the notorious leaf rust etc...these coffee diseases dug deep into their pockets..they had no more desire to get into debts any more !!We now had a solution, our future looked brighter!
So we got down to work....