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Global warming takes its toll on coffee production

This year, the change in weather patterns has caused a delay in flowering of coffee bushes by three months.

According to experts, global warming is also threatening to alter the cycle of the cash crop.

Coffee production has changed in central region due to erratic weather patterns caused by climate change.

Traditionally, the fly crop also known as the early crop is usually harvested between May and July while the main crop is harvested between November and early January.

But this is set to change. “The timeline for coffee production has shifted and we might harvest the early crop again in June or July,” said Chrysagon Wang’ondu, a coffee farmer.

According to Paul Nduhiu, a coffee farmer, climate change is gradually affecting coffee growing zones and he fears the impact will force farmers to engage in horticulture and subsistence farming.

Coffee experts say there will be an increase in production during the early crop harvest leading to reduced harvest in December. This will affect coffee prices. 

“Coffee buyers are not in favor of the early crop thus we expect reduced prices for our bulk produce,” said Joseph Njau, a coffee expert in Nyeri who is also a manager of a coffee farm in Nyeri.

Interim Director of Agriculture and Food Authority Coffee Directorate Grenville Miili says something can be done increase harvest during the two harvesting seasons.

“The weather has changed in that it is raining at the wrong time, farmers need to apply the fertilizers at the right time,” said Mr Miili.

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