Drought ‘a blessing’

The National,Thursday June 30th, 2016

THE drought last year had been a blessing to coffee farmers in the seven highlands provinces, according to two farmers in Dei district, Western Highlands.
Philip Kerua and Anis Peter said their coffee trees were bearing more cherries than before.
Kerua said the drought must have added “fertilisers” to their trees, after the rain fell. The coffee trees were bearing more cherries.
“This is not only applies to our coffee gardens but our food gardens as well,” he said.
He said they tried their best to pick all the cherries but could not.
Kerua said farmers in Dei district with big hectares of coffee paid labourers to pick the cherries for them.
He said travelled around and picked cherries in groups.
But Peter said many farmers were not happy with the price fluctuation.
“When the season begins in April, it was K4.30 at the roadside market. Middle of this month, it came down to K3.40 and K3.50 per kilogram of parchment coffee,” he said.
He said they wanted the price to be stable at K4 or above so that they would enjoy the fruits of their hard work.
Peter said coffee farmers were now enjoying more from their coffee trees unlike in the seasons.
He said during the drought, many people who turned their coffee gardens into food gardens were now regretting what they did.