The Coffee Research Foundation has started an ambitious programme to help farmers reverse the effects of global warming and boost coffee production.
The institution is holding farmer sensitisation clinics, urging farmers to plant favourable indigenous trees to provide shade and to practise water harvesting methods.
The institution’s director in charge of research, Dr Joseph Kimemia, said coffee risked being wiped out of the country due to changes in climate.
He said that soon the country may become too hot for coffee growing.
Speaking during a media workshop on coffee profitability and impact of climate change, Dr Kimemia said recent trends indicated that coffee growing was shifting from traditional optimal growing zones to higher attitudes.
Production to dwindle
He said the institution was worried that coffee production would dwindle since most of the high attitude zones are occupied by forests.
Dr Kimemia said studies indicated that coffee in traditional growing zones would start exhibiting random flowering patterns and differences in berry growth stages which would lead to difficulties in disease and pest management, harvesting and processing.
“Coffee could become unmanageable since you can not pick one berry and leave the rest,” Dr Kimemia told the workshop held at Kilimo Talii hotel in Maara district.