Area: 160,000 hectares
Population: 44.35 million
Language: There are a total of 68 languages spoken in Kenya. The two official languages are English and Swahili.
Currency: Kenya Shilling
Annual Production: 54.000 tons
Coffee Producing Area: Central (65%), Eastern (20%), Western (10%), Rift Valley (5%)
Producing Regions: Mt. Kenya, the Aberdare Range, Kisii, Nyanza, Bungoma, Nakuru and Kericho
Coffee Varietals: Bourbon, Kents, SL28, SL34, Ruiru, (R11) Batian
Terrain: Highland plateaus, coastal plains and semi desert plateaus
Soil: Volcanic (still undergoing laterization)
For a country that produces less than 1% of the world’s coffee, the respect and recognition of Kenyan coffee goes way beyond its production statistics. The Kenyan Coffee Directorate estimates that around 55% of its production comes from small holder growers, the remainder from medium and large estates.
It’s an industry with a thriving cooperative system of production, processing, milling, and auction system. Estimations are that the country has 150,000 coffee farmers in Kenya with about six million Kenyans were employed directly or indirectly in the coffee industry.
Since the first Arabica plants were introduced in 1893, the acidic soil, sunlight and rainfall has proved ideal for coffee. The industry has withstood political, economic and environmental changes over the years but has proved its resilience through hybrid developments and quality control. The biggest contributor has been the growing network of washing stations; mills where growers bring their coffee cherries to be hulled and washed. These can be individually or owned or managed by co-operatives. Quite often coffee will be named after the washing station such as Ntongoro, Kerumbe or Nainyoire.