Coffee Farmers Eye Good Year As Earnings Double

A woman drying coffee

Coffee earnings nearly doubled in January compared to the corresponding month last year on the back of higher prices and volumes, promising a good year for farmers who have suffered dwindling incomes in recent years.

Market reports from the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) indicates that the crop earned Kenya Sh5.2 billion last month, rising 94 percent compared to the Sh2.6 billion in January 2020.

NCE chief executive Daniel Mbithi said the improved earnings resulted from high demand for the Kenyan coffee and higher volumes at the auction.

“There has been a very high demand now for Kenya coffee especially for the washed premium ones, which have seen the prices surge by an amazing 64.49 percent from an average of $177.46 in January 2020 to $291.91 per 50 kilogrammes,” said Mr Mbithi.

Last year, the crop earned the country Sh23.63 billion ($216 million), as per latest data from the Central Bank of Kenya, up from Sh22.43 billion ($205 million) in 2019.

The cumulative 50kg bags traded last month rose by 8.81 percent to 132,149 from 121,447 in January 2020, with production having been spurred by an earlier picking of the main crop.

Subsequently, the average price went up to Sh14,520 as at end of last month, from Sh12,221 for a 50-kilo bag in the corresponding time the previous year.

The commodity price has also been boosted by an increase in price at the New York Coffee Exchange, which plays an instrumental role in determining the value of Kenyan crop.