Kichawir Farmers Cooperative Society is in the 3rd year of converting their coffee from conventional to Organically grown coffee. The cooperative management also is encouraging the youth and women to become members of the society and they are encouraging the men to give some land to their sons to plant coffee. This will address succession issues and sustainability of coffee production in the cooperative. The farmers are small-scale farmers with low income levels and coffee is their main source of income. The community also grows other food crops like maize, beans, yams and bananas.
Green lemon, apple, vanilla and black currant.
The main economic challenge with cash crops (coffee) is unpredictable coffee prices, unpredictable weather patterns and the high cost of farm inputs. Kichawir produces 430 tons of coffee cherries each year, depending on climatic conditions, disease and other factors. The coffee is wet processed, where the fully ripe cherries are pulped, fermented, washed, dried slowly over 2- 3 weeks and where the moisture content is reduced to 10-12%. Upon drying (called parchment) it is then milled and graded.
REGION.................Rift Valley Region
VARIETY ...............SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11 & Batian