FAS Nairobi forecasts Kenya’s coffee production will increase from 700 to 750 thousand bags in marketing year (MY) 2021/22 due to anticipated good weather and improved farm practices in response to higher prices. Area harvested is down from 112 to 105 thousand hectares in MY 2020/21 due to the encroachment of real estate development in peri-urban plantations.
Local consumption will remain depressed in MY 2020/21 due to the impact of COVID-19 on the restaurant and hospitality sectors, but will recover slightly from 36 to 43 thousand bags in MY 2021/22 as Kenya’s tourism sector improves. Trade estimates are revised based on data from Trade Data Monitor.
Weather projections for MY 2021/22 indicate that many coffee-growing regions will receive rainfall and temperatures which are conducive to coffee growing. Additionally, yields are projected to increase due to improved crop husbandry practices by farmers as growers rehabilitate their farms and increase inputs in response to improved prices.
MY 2021/22 is also expected to be a cyclical peak production year for most trees in Kenya. Coffee trees undergo annual variations in their yield, usually increasing two consecutive years and falling the third.
Area planted is revised down from 112 to 105 thousand hectares in MY 2020/21 as many large farms have been converted into real estate development, particularly in peri-urban areas such as Kiambu and Nyeri. This trend will continue in MY 2021/22 but will be offset as some growers plant new trees outside of peri-urban areas in response to high prices this year.
In April 2020, the Government of Kenya (GOK) announced a $14 million coffee revitalization program, with the majority of these funds allocated to improving coffee processing and the rest dedicated to input use and support for cooperatives. The impact of this program will likely not be observed until after 2022.
Leading Export Destinations for Kenya Coffee by Marketing Year
Coffee consumption is expected to increase from 36 to 43 thousand bags in MY 2021/22 as the tourism and hospitality sectors recover from COVID-19 disruptions. In MY 2019/20 and 2020/21 consumption was depressed due to low tourism and the closure of hotels, restaurants, coffee houses, and other eateries.
As most consumers in Kenya continue to prefer tea over coffee, Kenyan consumption is driven by tourism, immigration, and rising domestic consumption in urban areas where coffee culture is taking root.
While MY 2021/22 consumption is expected to increase, it is not forecast to recover to pre-pandemic levels. While Kenya may see an increase in vaccinated tourists next year, Kenya itself may not achieve high vaccination levels over this time frame. Prior to the pandemic, coffee consumption in Kenya was growing, particularly through increased investment in coffee houses.
Additionally, several businesses set up training facilities to promote coffee preparation and consumption.