Coffee is one of the most popular beverage globally and most trading in Kenya. Locally it is refered as Kahawa (kiswahili) and it belongs to the Rubiacee family. The two species of commercial interest are coffea Arabica (Arabica coffee) and coffea canephora (Robusta) with arabica bean being the most grown and tastier of the two. Coffee is widely used as beverage and has stimulating effect derived from the alkaloid caffeine.

In Kenya Coffee is largely grown by both large-scale plantations, smallholder farmers and cooperative societies. It is estimated that in Kenya 160,000 hectares are under coffee, 75.5 per cent of which is in the co-operative sub-sector and 24.5 per cent in the estates.Coffee is Kenya’s fourth leading foreign exchange earner after tourism, tea and horticulture  and a major contributor to employment creation, food security, poverty alleviation and rural development. It contributes about 30% of  the Kenya’s GDP.

Generally coffee thrives well under the following conditions:-

Altitude: 1,400 - 2,000m above sea level.
Temperature: 15-30°C.
Rainfall: 1,000mm per annum East of the Rift Valley and 1,145 mm per annum for the West of the Rift Valley.
Soils: Deep, well drained, fertile with reasonable humus content and slightly acidic (pH 4.4).

Coffee grown zone in kenya  is found in central region (65%), Eastern region (20%), Western (10%) and Rift Valley (5%).

Coffee full pdf


The main inputs in coffee production includes; planting materials, fertilizer, organic fertilizer, chemical ,Pestcides & fungicide, Machinery & Equipments.

  • Planting material may includes;seeds,seedling ,stem cutting,tissue culture
  • Fertilizers may includes compound,top dressing,folier(liquid)
  • Organic fertilizer can be  obtained by converting various organic waste such as crop residue,urban waste ,poultry droping,animal dug,etc.,into a usable fertilizer by a modified aerobic- cum anaerobic process of composting.
  • Machine& Equipment are  supporting machine which help in the processing of coffee cherry into final coffee beans.they includes;coffee pulpers,coffee hullers,lister machine,Eco pulpers.


Coffee production goes through a systematic protocol from seed nursery  to cup .Coffee production  at the farm level is a process which involves the following activities;land preparation , planting , mulching, Spraying ,Pest and disease control ,prunning, Harvesting  and Sorting at farm level  .Establishment of coffee crop  can  either be from planting of new seedling or rehabilitation of   abandoned coffee plant.

In all circumstatnces the farmer is  required to  keep records of  cost of production  in order to facilitate  measure the performance of the coffee enterprise


Processing of coffee start with picking the  ripe berries  and processing it the same day to ensure uniformity in dyring.The cherry are processed by taking it  into coffee pulper machine to remove the red pulp  to convert it from the cherry to partchment coffee(wet processing).cherry should be pulped on the same day of picking or delivery to the society.This is refered to primary coffee processing in order  to transform cherry to partchment  ready for secondary processing.

Other process which follows includes;pre grading, fermentation, intermediate washing,final washingunder-water soaking, partchment drying, sorting of parchment, packaging, transportation to mill.

Milling represents the secondary processing when the coffee parchments is delivered into the mill plant by either the  coffee cooperative societies,estate growers and large scale plantation.Coffee societies are required to appoints a miller annualy from a list of licensed miller by the coffee directorate within ALFA .

Coffee milling involves two stages, namely the removal of impurities through use of screens, magnetic separation of any metal pieces and pneumatic system to remove light materials. This is followed by hulling of the partchment or buni to remove husk and polishing to remove silver skin from the clean bean surface.

The other second stage is mechanical grading which separate the clean coffee beans into different grade based on size,shape and weight of the clean bean.

Cooperatives and small growers are required to sell their coffee produce through licensed coffee marketing agent by the  coffee directorate  in ALFA .Kenya has two coffee marketing systems: Central auction system and direct sale.

Auction system commonly referred to as Nairobi Coffee Exchange, is a market where licensed dealers buy coffee through competitive bidding. Coffee auctions are conducted every Tuesday. The prices are dictated by new York price index and reserve price fixed by the taste of the cup.The Nairobi coffee exchange is under the management of the Kenya Coffee Producers and Traders Association..

A direct sale, commonly referred to ‘Second Window’, requires a marketing agent to directly negotiate with a buyer outside the country and a sales contract is signed and registered with the coffee directorate. Individual cooperative have option to sell clean coffee through direct market (second widow) without involving the marketing agents.

Kenya's premium grade of coffee, is simply a measure by  the size, weight and shape of the bean. The grade sizes, ranging in order from the largest to the smallest, are AA, AB, PB, C, E, TT and T.The  bigger beans mean more aroma and flavour  and produce better quality coffee.grade AA is Kenya premium coffee.Ideally the buyer focus on quality predominantly in the cup.The clean coffee is graded, packaged and sold in 60kg bag.

The clean coffee is sold locally  and through  export to European , latin America, US market. Other emerging market  such as   China ,middle East


The Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority (AFFA) is a state corporation established through an Act of Parliament specifically, under section 3 of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority Act of 2013. The Act consolidates the laws on the regulation and promotion of agriculture and makes provision for the respective roles of the national and county governments in agriculture and related matters, in line with the provisions of the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution of Kenya.

The Authority is therefore is the successor of former regulatory institutions in the sector that were merged into Directorates under the Authority, with the commencement of Crops Act, 2013 on 1st August 2014, which  include coffee directorate  formerly  Coffee Board of Kenya, which was sole regulator in the coffee industry.

Various policy regulating the coffee industry includes the Kenya coffee Act 2009, Crop Act  No.16  of 2013,Cooperative society Act , amendment  2008

Crop Act, provide for all coffee smallholders to process their coffee produce through cooperative societies.
The service provider in coffee includes;licensed miller (Private/growers) marketing agents ,cetified bodies,coffee board of Kenya,KCPTA,MOIED, State department  Agriculture ,Coffee research,Inputs stockiest,coffee cooperatives and unions,credit providers.

The service provider in coffee are responsible in promoting domestic coffee consumption through innovative technologies of processing by upholding quality assuarance at all time .Coffee dealership in Kenya is regulated by the industry regulator, the Kenya's Coffee Directorate. It has over time has licensed 100s of companies but slightly less than 100 are active and participate in the weekly coffee auctions at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange.

other service providers  include and not limited to ;licensed miller (Private/growers) marketing agents ,cetified bodies,regulatory bodies coffee board of Kenya,KCPTA,MOIED, State department  Agriculture ,Coffee research,Inputs stockiest,coffee cooperatives and unions,credit providers,coffee equipment supplies,coffee transportes ,coffee warehouses,courier servises,farm management,shipping more....