Climate Change Brutalizes Kenya Coffee Production

February 11, 2010 /EIN PRESSWIRE/ Unpredictable rainfall and excessive droughts have taken a toll on Kenya’s coffee production, leading to failures in crop management and disease control, according to Joseph Kimemia, director of research at Kenya’s Coffee Research Foundation.

Kimemia told Reuters, “You look at a coffee tree and cannot determine the season because it has beans of all ages. That is a problem when it comes to disease management, insect management and the worst problem is in harvesting. The cost is enormous.”

Kenya lost 23% of the 2008 crop because intermittent rainfall caused Coffee Berry Disease that farmers could not get out in front of. On the flip side, drought causes crop losses from 10% to the entire crop.

“If you are not able to meet that volume in one, two years, they are traders, so naturally they will look for another coffee to replace your coffee,” Kimemia said. “And when they do that, then they cannot come back, even when you get back to production.”

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