The mandate of Coffee Technology center is to implement the academic, research and technology transfer objectives within the coffee value chain. DeKUT Coffee farm is a 684 acre mixed farm of coffee, dairy, and arable production. About 302 acres of the farm is under coffee, the dominant variety being SL 28 with a few Batian and Ruiru 11 coffee trees.The farm also has a coffee nursery with a capacity of 70,000 seedlings.
Strategic thematic activities of DeKUT Coffee Technology Center are aimed at achieving the following objectives:
i) Enhanced coffee production quantities
- DeKUT Coffee nursery has distributed about 45,965 high quality coffee seedlings to farmers by from May, 2016- June, 2017 at affordable rates
ii) Improved coffee quality and prices
The Center has successfully implemented Quality advisory to farmers and cooperatives through– coffee cupping tasting facility for farmers with expert cuppersat affordable rates. Over 300 samples have been analyzed and appropriate information provided to the farmers. The Center has also participated in several community coffee extension services through participation in exhibitions, agricultural shows,
As part of Vision 2030 flagship project, DeKUT has acquired Coffee Pilot packaging plant for value addition and capacity building of stakeholders on coffee value chain development. The Center has also trained farmers and cooperative management boards on best practices in Coffee Technology and Quality Management through customized short courses e.g. Othaya Coffee Cooperative. The staff and students are continuously carrying out adoptive research and innovations on best practices along coffee value chain towards improved quality and price. Some of the research outputs include enhanced awareness on safety assurance through prevention of mould contamination, and improvised fermentation techniques during peak harvest seasons.
iii) Improved technical capacity of professionals in Kenya coffee sector
The center oversees the implementation of Certificate/Diploma in Coffee Technology and Quality management programme. The main goal of these programmes is to impart appropriate knowledge and skills best practices in coffee value chain- developed in collaboration with stakeholder including Coffee Directorate.
iv)Enhanced youths empowerment for self-employment and gender equity in coffee sector
The Coffee Technology and Quality Management Programmes targets KCSE leavers and those who are already employed in the coffee sector. In addition to the core technical skills in Coffee Technology, learners exposed to other skills including: Entrepreneurial skills, Communication Skills, Information Communication Technology, Principles of Management
v)Environmental conservation through improved coffee wastes management
The center has made several efforts towards awareness creation on improved coffee waste management practices, further linking to specialized niche markets with higher income such as Fair Trade branding. The staff and students attached to the Center are also actively involved in innovations on utilization of coffee wastes through research on extraction of pectin from mucilage for reuse in food/ pharmaceutical applications and other coffee waste byproducts.
vi)In order to contribute towards environmental conservation, the Center has keen on promoting improved water resource managemente.g. through adoption of Eco-pulper for wet processing of coffee.
vii)Coffee Tourism model – The Center has successfully piloted a coffee tourism model covering the coffee value chain from nursery to cupping. About 200 local and international visitors have been taken throughthe coffee value chain from seedlings propagation to cupping at DeKUT