I’m a coffee farmer, Uche Kwaiga. I live on a small private estate in Nyeri, Mukurweini sub county that I have been rehabilitating for the last 3 years.
I have studied coffee farm management at diploma level here in Kenya. (I have also had to work my way up from a farm hand in the coffee with my grandmother since I was 16) I practice organic farming and am qualified to teach permaculture and certify students. My interest in bees and pollinators in general lead me to study beekeeping with the Ministry of Agriculture and I am qualified to teach government field officers beekeeping courses in Kenya, thus, I have hosted few classes from time to time. I recently completed a course in ecological restoration of tropical forests. All this in a thirst for knowledge to understand the natural world that coffee comes from better. I believe that this knowledge will assist, not just me, but other farmers produce better quality coffee and reduce the effects of climate change on coffee farming.
On the farm I have been rehabilitating the coffee in blocks by removing invasive species (lantana camara) that is covering old variety of SL-28 and a few bourbon coffee trees. At the moment I am pulping small lots of coffee I get with a hand pulper. This year I am fixing the pulping station to wet process more coffee and help my neighbours to produce better quality. (I hope to speak more on this at a later stage).
On the farm I also have a mature woodlot for all timber needs and besides coffee I also grow macadamia, mangoes, avocado, bananas on a commercial scale with guava, raspberries, mulberries, lemon grass, chamomile and bamboo amoungst other things for home use. There are lots of beehives that are more for pollination of the farm than honey.
In the nature trail I have begun ecological restoration, (last year) and look forward to planting more indigenous plants and adding features like tree houses etc. The Bird Society of Kenya has counted 116 different species of birds some of which some are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN endangered list, with only 4000 adults left in the world. It is also home to some small mammals and beautiful natural scenery of cascading waterfalls. This part of the farm has been very special to me since I was a kid and now local schools, neighbours, tourists are guests of Warega Nature Trail, especially on weekends.
- Country: Kenya
- County: Nyeri
- Altitude: 1750 m asl
- 10 hectares (only 3 hectares rehabilitated)
- Varieties: SL28, Bourbon
- Process: Natural and Washed
- Other crops: Macadamia, Mango, Banana, Avocado
Kenyan contact: Régine