Posted Monday, November 8 2010 at 20:31
Highly acidic soils and climate change are contributing greatly to low production of coffee in the country.
Coffee Research Foundation (CRF) says the continued use of inorganic fertilisers for many years has made the soils acidic and this has greatly affected production.
Farmers have not been making efforts to manage the fertility of their soils as few of them take samples to the CRF for testing, said the institution director, Dr Joseph Kimemia.
“The issue of soil acidity is really a nightmare to us, but CRF is coming up with a digital mapping of the soils which will help farmers plan how to treat their soils to realise higher yields,” he told a workshop for leaders of coffee co-operatives societies in Nyeri.
Dr Kimemia said his organisation had invested in state-of-the-art equipment for soil testing which would enable farmers get results of their samples within 10 days.
Meanwhile, the Coffee Board of Kenya is reviewing an earlier projection of 60,000 metric tonnes of coffee to be produced to between 45,000 and 47,000 metric tonnes.
This follows widespread attack by leaf rust disease.