Coffee farm in Diocese of Kenya spreads conservation skills to local communities

Surrounded by hills, valleys, dirt roads and vast semi-arid and uncultivated lands dotted with acacias and cacti. Archdiocese of Nyeriof Farm Hill Neri.

The 3,000-acre farm, about 166 kilometers (103 miles) from the Kenyan capital Nairobi and less than 3 kilometers (2 miles) from the small town of Nyeri, was established to promote evangelism and help eradicate the poverty and disease. But its goals have expanded over the years, and the farm has invested heavily in reforestation and other environmental efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change that is causing more droughts, floods, and soil erosion.

Among various cash crops, animal farms and institutions, the 825-acre Nyeri Hill Farm is devoted to coffee and 100 acres to tea.according to farm filesThe Catholic Archdiocese’s ownership of the Nyeri Hill Farm coffee farm dates back to 1904 when Father Consolata established the first coffee demonstration area on the present site of the Consolata Mission Hospital.

Commercial coffee and tea production officially began in 1914. Today the parish has two coffee and tea processing factories, one at Nyeri Hill Farm and the other in nearby Kamwenja.

Alfred Munyua, an environmental activist and private coffee farmer in Nyeri county, said the impacts of climate change, such as drought, have led to food insecurity in the Mount Kenya region, where the farm is located, and have forced people to depend on food From the government and its sympathizers.

“All these problems are caused by droughts caused by less rain due to illegal logging and forest encroachment,” Munyua said.

according mi kahalva (My Coffee), a platform dedicated to raising awareness about Kenyan coffee, which thrives at an altitude of approximately 1,970 feet (1,800 meters) and an annual rainfall of 47 inches (1,200 mm). However, Nyeri Hill Farm, an ASAL (arid and semi-arid area) region, receives an average annual rainfall of only 37 inches (950 mm).

The farm used to have low crop yields due to lack of rain, so they started installing irrigation systems to improve yields. While the process is slow and not entirely complete, the farm plans to move away from rainfed agriculture over time. Yield per tree increased from 88 ounces (2.5 kilograms) to 352 ounces (10 kilograms) in areas with irrigation systems.

To conserve water, Nyeri Hill Farm invested in a water recycling system to reduce water waste, pollution and cost, lowering their water bill by nearly 50%. The farm has also invested in dehusking coffee husks, which are used as organic fertilizer.

Munyua applauded Nyeri Hill Farm’s reforestation strategy, saying it would restore weather patterns and help end hunger. Places like the nearby town of Mweiga, known for its low rainfall, now see rain year-round. This means higher agricultural yields, especially for those who depend on rainfed agriculture and do not have irrigation systems.

according standard newspaperKenyan media reported that although the country has seen some rain recently, the weather department has warned farmers that the rains will not be enough and they should consider planting drought-resistant crops for an end-of-year harvest. this season.

In addition to adapting his own business to climate change, Nyeri Hill Farm also helps local communities with conservation efforts, primarily focusing on reforestation, proper waste disposal, and erosion management.

As part of these efforts, the farm established a nursery and grew seedlings of thousands of different species, including native plants, which they made available to the community, parishioners, and surrounding institutions, including parishes that grow seedlings in the Mount region. Kenya.

“What we need is to increase forest cover in areas that have been destroyed by illegal logging activities,” said farm manager Joseph Vanjo.

He said the farm planted thousands of saplings each year to combat the effects of climate change and advance the government’s agenda of planting 15 billion trees over the next 10 years.

according news from africa, the region has suffered nearly three years of persistent drought, and IGAD’s Center for Climate Prediction and Applications (ICPAC) announced that much of the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) is expected to receive below-normal rainfall over the next few three months. As the country experiences its worst drought in four decades, Bishop Anthony Muheria of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri has warned of severe climate change if Kenyans do not take environmental protection seriously.

“Everyone has a responsibility to ensure that the environment is protected for future generations,” the bishop told EarthBeat. He applauded Nyeri Hill Farm’s conservation efforts.

“If we want to create a better future for our children and grandchildren, we must embrace environmental protection. Let’s plant trees. We must stop the malicious felling of trees and instead we must protect them,” she said.

The bishop called on business leaders to “save the world by supporting environmental initiatives like planting trees and cleaning up rivers.”

During last year’s National Day of Prayer at the Subukia National Shrine, Mukhria, who often promotes the environment, urged pilgrims to take responsibility and pray for environmental protection.

Mary Nyambura, a farmer and parishioner from Nyeri, said she got most of her conservation skills from coffee farms. She works mixed farming on 1.5 acres in Mathari village, just a few miles from Nyeri village.

“I have learned a lot from this farm, from conservation to farming skills, which has completely improved my produce,” he said.

2023-06-05 09:32:25
Coffee farm in Diocese of Kenya spreads conservation skills to local communities

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