International coffee prices have risen sharply since June of this year due to the frost in Brazil with one kilogram of green beans reaching up to Sh 400 on world markets.
The price increase is due to the reduction in coffee production in Brazil, which accounts for 50 percent of coffee in world markets.
According to the Inter-African Coffee Organization, the frost in Brazil will affect Arabica coffee production over the next 4 years and Kenyan farmers must therefore capitalize on demand and increase production.
Speaking at the official launch of Kenyatta University Coffee House, Cabinet Secretary of Agriculture Peter Munya said the Coffee Directorate plans to open cafes in all public universities across the country with the aim of increase coffee consumption.
In a speech read on his behalf by Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Lawrence Omuhaka, the CS said that “the establishment of cafes in public universities to promote national consumption of Kenyan coffee has been a dream for the ministry. .
He noted that KU cafe will be the 2sd cafe at a public university after the ARC cafe opened Thursday at Egerton University.
“The Coffee Directorate has now facilitated the establishment of two other cafes in private universities, namely the United States International University in Africa (USIU), managed by Nairobi Java Coffee House Ltd and the other at the University of Strathmore, operated by Rockbern Coffee Ltd. », Said Munya
We have witnessed an important step in the development of the domestic Kenyan coffee market, the CS reiterated that the 4 cafes in Kenyan universities were made over a period of five years.
“The ministry aims to open four more cafes in public universities within four years. This will see the growth of Kenyan coffee consumption from 3% currently to 7% by the end of 2025, ”Munya said.
Coffee, he explained, is a strategic crop for the economy of this country. It is essential in the government’s big four agenda because it supports the manufacturing pillar where it is essential in terms of added value. It also plays a role in the pillar of food security.
He congratulated the Directorate of Coffee for having spearheaded the promotion of the added value of coffee and the consumption of Kenyan coffee in the country.
“As a result of these aggressive promotional campaigns, the number of cafes has increased dramatically from 9 in 1997 to 355 in 2019,” Munya said.
He added that there had also been a corresponding increase in the total volume of value-added coffee from 509 MT in 2009/2010 to 1,577 MT in 2019/2020.
“The opening of cafes both at Egerton and at Kenyatta University will undoubtedly contribute to the future increase in the number of cafes as well as the total volume of value-added coffee consumed in Kenya,” CS said.
Munya explained that the establishment of cafes has a strategic ripple effect on the country’s economy, and the benefits accrued are overwhelming for any university with a cafe.
He said the government officiated last year on the use of coffee in flavoring milk yogurt at Dedan Kimathi University of Agriculture and Technology (DeKUT).
DeKUT for its part, he added, went even further by developing its own brand called Dedan Kimathi University Coffee through the added value of its own coffee which it now sells in the local market.
He challenged university professors as well as students to take advantage of the establishment of the KU Coffee House and deliver coffee making equipment locally through the manufacture and patenting of coffee machines and reverse engineering.
This, he said, will help reduce the cost of importing expensive coffee equipment into the country, thus meeting the industry’s needs for the production of high-quality and inexpensive equipment.
The opening of cafes in universities is supported by the Inter-African Coffee Organization (OPCW) in partnership with the International Coffee Organization (OIC) in coffee-producing countries to answer questions of improving productivity while promoting national coffee consumption among its member states.
The Coffee Directorate received the grant for these activities from the ICO through the IACO and the total cost of the KU coffee was 2,538,594.00 Sh with a contribution of 1,563,610 from the IACO grant and a supplement. of 974 984 Sh from the Coffee Directorate.
The total sponsorship of the IACO / ICO was 2,800,000 Sh, of which 1,236,390 Sh was channeled to Egerton University for the creation of another café.
The initiative was also in line with International Coffee Organization resolution 465 adopted in 2018 to help address consumption disparities between coffee producing and coffee producing countries in order to stabilize the pendulums of price fluctuations. Coffee.
The government, Munya said, has requested additional funding for the establishment of six cafes at Kenyan universities so that the country can have at least 10 cafes in two years.
“Ten coffees will have a huge influence on how young people perceive coffee as a trendy drink, also given that research has shown that consuming coffee as a drink has a number of health benefits. health, such as the effect of caffeine which inhibits the multiplication of malignant cancer cells. to the body, ”Munya said.
Kenya produces an average of 45,000 tonnes per year. Of which, about 9 percent is exported as raw materials to international markets. Of the remaining 5 percent, about 2 percent is exported as value added while the remaining 3 percent is consumed locally in the country.
In comparison, other coffee-producing countries consume a large portion of their national production in any given year, with statistics showing that domestic coffee consumption among the countries is high with Ethiopia at 50 percent, the Brazil 40 percent, Colombia 35 percent and also Guatemala 30 percent.
By Wangari Ndirangu