Kirinyaga County KSh 5m Coffee Lab
Local farmers in Kirinyaga County, with the help of the county government, have set up a Sh5 million laboratory for testing the quality of coffee. The lab would ensure that their coffee meet international standards by producing high quality coffee whose demand in the international market is high. This subsequently translates to increased earnings for the farmers.
Coffee starts to loose quality in the farm when the farmer deviates from spraying the crop, applying manure and pruning. Once the ripen berries are harvested they are submitted for pulping within the first 12 hours to avoid fermentation which lowers quality of the coffee. Farmers often have no idea of the grade in which their produce have been given. This often leads to conflicts between the farmers and the millers when the quality of their produce is rendered low.
The facility, located at the Kirinyaga County Farmers Cooperative Union headquarters in Kerugoya town, has equipment that is able to indicate the point at which the quality of coffee beans begins to deteriorate. It also tests samples from different co-operatives and individual farmers to enable grading. The county government is also aiming at helping farmers with value addition for increased earnings thereby making coffee farming a lucrative business in the region.