Small farm diversification strategies by coffee farmers around Mount Kenya in Kenyawca2014-1532 Sammy Carsan 1,*Aldo Stroebel 2Frank Place 1Ramni Jamnadass 1 1ICRAF, Nairobi, Kenya, 2National Research Foundation, Pretoria, South Africa
Improved understanding of the main drivers that influence productivity patterns in smallholder coffee farming systems can help better target agricultural innovation. The purpose of this study was to investigate if smallholders with decreasing or increasing coffee production around Mount Kenya invest in enterprise intensification and diversification strategies such as with maize, banana, livestock and agroforestry trees. Using functional typologies of smallholder coffee farms determined a priori, coffee yield data from 180 farms was used to identify and analyse productivity on farms with increasing, decreasing and constant coffee production trends. Simple descriptive statistics such as means, range, counts, enterprise scoring, diversity analysis, pair-wise correlations and general linear regression analysis were used to compare farm typologies.
Results show similarities in smallholder farm diversification strategies; coffee production is nonetheless declining in smaller farm sizes compared to farm sizes where it’s increasing. Data suggest that on decreasing coffee, farmers with smaller land size diversify into crops such as banana and maize probably in a strategy to secure household food security. Results showed that smallholders expanding coffee production are also associated with productive milk enterprises. Analysis was consistent that, land size, coffee production (number of bushes, cherry yields/Ha), livestock units, trees, banana, maize value, nutrient inputs (manure and fertilizer) and labour costs influence coffee farms productivity and are useful indicators to distinguish farm typologies. In conclusion, this study highlights the importance of increased awareness by policy makers on coffee production trends and the need to promote enterprises that are of interest to farmers.