An analysis of agribusiness support projects contribution on coffee production in Machakos county-Kenya
Mutua, Martin Ambrose
MetadataShow full item record
The increasing demand for coffee all over the world has surpassed the supply. This has led to a focused attention by key stakeholders in coffee production. These players have recently introduced Agribusiness support based projects aimed at increasing the production of coffee. These projects provide support services on farm advisory services, certification programs, credit facilities and market information. The focus for the programs has been in Africa with a particular attention given to Kenya. Despite this, coffee production in Kenya is steadily declining as farmers are changing their attention from coffee production to other economic activities. The fact that there is a retrogressive production of coffee in the presence of these Agribusiness support based projects raises concern as to whether this projects achieve improved coffee production. This therefore necessitates the need to analyze Agribusiness support based projects on Kenya's coffee production. The study sought to answer the question of the extent to which advisory services by Agribusiness projects facilitate sustainable coffee production, the degree to which certification programs motivate farmers in coffee production, the extent to which credit facilities enhance profitable coffee production and the degree to which provision of market information facilitates better market prices for coffee farmers. The study was of benefit to farmers and all stakeholders in the value chain of coffee as it will provide a critical insight on how farm advisory services can be enhanced through adopted demand driven training and clustering of farmers to increase the scope covered by the projects. On certification projects, the study explored the need for participatory approach and offering premiums on certified coffee geared towards farmer's motivation. Hence, the need to enhance the effectiveness of credit facilitation on long term basis and better ways of accessing market information for farmers. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The target population was coffee farmers in Machakos County. Convenient and census sampling techniques were used to select 2 districts with 100 respondents out of 320 coffee growers drawn from the management committees from various cooperatives. A questionnaire was used as the instrument of data collection. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and presented inform of charts and frequency tables. Findings showed that capacity building at both farm and factory levels were key areas of focus amplified by provision of credit facilities to procure farm inputs on time. Participatory approach during certification process needs to be adopted in development of the guidelines to meet both the expectations of supply and demand. Common knowledge among farmers revealed farm input application induced more berries of higher density thus better yields, free of diseases or physical damage that impairs the quality aspect of the coffee. Though provision of market information by the Agribusiness support project is vital, it does not significantly facilitate better price discovery as agents are involved in closing the sales on behalf of farmers.