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Farmyard manure gives Murang'a coffee farmers hope with better yield

CENTRAL
By Boniface Gikandi | May 27th 2021
Chairman to Gatumbi coffee factory Mr Kaihura wa Karanja attends one of his coffee trees [Boniface Gikandi, Standard]

Coffee farmers in Murang'a County have switched to farmyard manure to reduce soil acidity and enhance production.

The transformation of coffee husbandry started seven years ago when Murang’a County Government distributed 100 tonnes of farmyard manure sourced from Kajiado and Laikipia counties.

The manure was distributed to farmers at the 144 smallholder coffee pulping factories to enable planting of 4 million coffee seedlings of Batian and Ruiru 11 varieties that had been distributed by the county government.

Charles Mwangi from Kamukabi in Kigumo said the manure helped increase coffee production and earnings. The food crops around the coffee trees also did well, with maize developing big cobs, hence increased production. “The idea was godsend since the cost of transporting manure from outside central region is too high,” said Mwangi, whose cherry production last year jumped to 10,212kg from 4,000kg in 2015.

Jecinta Wambui of Mugoiri village in Kiharu said: “The subsided manure and free seedlings have revived the cash crop many had abandoned due to poor returns.” In 2019 she delivered 5,000kg to Mirwagi Factory up from 3,500kg in 2017.

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