Coffee is a cash crop grown in Kenya mostly in the central part of Kenya and among the major sources of revenue for Kenya as a country. The farming of coffee therefore is not taken for granted as the quality of the coffee products is the major determinant of the amount of revenue gained from coffee. This therefore makes the government ensure that the coffee farmers are provided with the necessary equipment and farm input for quality guarantee.
Kenya has also established an institution which enable the farmers of coffee in Kenya to have the best knowledge on how to tackle the challenges faced during the production of high standards of coffee. Coffee Research foundation is thereby a research institute for all matters related to coffee production in Kenya. Coffee Research Foundation is determined to be an excellent global institution of research and development for sustainable wealth creation in the coffee industry as well as conduct research, develop and disseminate modern and innovative technologies through efficient utilization of resources for prosperity of stakeholders.
Coffee Research Foundation despite conduction of the research and information dissemination about coffee, they also conduct and carry out activities such as soil and leaf analysis to give farmers best advice on the type of fertilizers to use, production of certified seeds for faster and quality coffee production, raising of coffee seedling, chemical evaluation and analysis, monitoring and forecasting, residential training at the Kenya coffee college as well as recording and analyzing meteorological data.
Departments of Coffee Research Foundation
There are various departments in the coffee research foundation which deal and put emphasis on the different areas of study. They include;
Technical Department: this department is made up of various sub departments which have different services. They host sub-divisions such as;
i) Agricultural Economics which deal with undertaking research on socio-economic and policy issues that impact on the coffee industry. The research outputs of this section are aimed at supporting both business and policy processes. This section is also responsible of undertaking continuous review of the coffee industry in order to anticipate emerging challenges and opportunities.
ii) Entomology which is the section which undertake activities such as carrying out socio-economic studies within the industry to determine factors influencing the adoption of the recommended technical information, assessing the different management practices within the smallholder and estate coffee sectors with a view of establishing the various cost structures and factors influencing profitability as well as establishing the demand and supply function of the developed coffee varieties.
iii) Crop Physiology whose main goal is to conduct physiological research to establish the relationship between the morphological and functional characteristics and their environment to determine the crop yield and quality.
iv) Experimental Agronomy where this section carries out field trials at the Coffee Research Station and sub-stations, demonstration plots and other experimental sites. Other sectors under this department include Chemistry, Research Liaison and Advisory, Plant Breeding Unit as well as Plant Pathology all of which have various different activities and tasks.
Farms and Substations Department
This as an institution should ensure that they have other places to conduct their works and activities as this will ensure that the farmers have access to the best information required for coffee production. This research foundation has therefore established other substations to offer their services. The substations are located in different weather conditions so as to compare the yield and finally establish the best weather for the different variety of coffee. The stations are located in Jacaranda/Rukera farm in Ruiru, Azania farm in Ruiru, Kitale Substation in Kitale, Koru Substation in Mau highlands, Mariene Substation and Kisii Substation in Kisii.
This department deals with the management of services offered by the Coffee Research Foundation. There are various sections which deals specifically with the different areas of specialization and they include Finance/Accounts which manage all funds to be used in the research programmes, Internal Audit, Human Resource and Administration for managing of the Human Resource issues, Estate and Transport section which deals with the housing and transportation of equipment of research as well as researchers and the Procurement section.