Over decades, the coffee production in Kenya has been decreasing from 130 Metric Tons in 1988 to a current production of 40 Metric Tons. One of the factors attributing to this decline is the ageing population; the average age of a Kenyan coffee farmer is 60 years.
Kipkelion coffee union, wanted to increase the coffee production and attract youth to become involved in the cooperative. They managed to mobilise more than 120 youths in total at cooperative society level, regional level and union level to create a youth council with 9 members who meet every quarter.
The union's focus is to involve young farmers in marketing milled coffee, starting coffee tree nurseries, reaching more members and to lobby for county governmental support.
Young farmers are trained on basic agronomy and they made a plan for a tree nursery to be used by supplying seedlings to new and elderly members. The piece of land is already there and the seeds now need to be purchased.
The union decided to register ‘Kipkelion Union Youth Council’ under the department of social development, which enabled youth council members to gain access to local funds from the county government. The youth council is actively lobbying towards the county government for funding of youth activities. They have already managed to allocate some funds for planting coffee trees. And that is just the beginning!!!