About the plantation
Kenya MapMtaro Estate is located in the Thika district in the fertile highlands of Central Kenya, some 40 kilometers north of Nairobi. The estate is named after the hand-dug trench—or ‘Mtaro’ in Kiswahili—that supplies the farm with water.
The farm employs around 300 workers and has a commendable social welfare programme in place. All workers and their families are supplied with clean drinking water and have free access to a health clinic on the estate, with more specialized treatment at the state hospital paid for by the farm if necessary. All permanent workers are provided with a two room house and the upkeep of the buildings is paid for by the estate. No children under the age of 18 are allowed to work on the farm, and there is a committee in place to make sure that workers’ children attend school. The farm management has pledged to protect workers’ rights, encouraging communication between workers, union representatives and managers, and has also established a women’s welfare committee.
There are two main harvest periods on Mtaro – from April to September and from October to December, with an average yield of around 260 metric tonnes. The coffee cherries are hand-picked, fully washed and dried in the sun when possible.
The estate has also taken a number of steps to limit its environmental impact. The use of agro-chemicals is kept to a minimum and carefully documented; cherries are dried in the sun whenever possible in order to minimize electricity usage; waste water from the washing process is filtered naturally though a series of filter beds; and, the pulp from coffee cherries is composted and recycled as fertilizer. The estate has also implemented a reforestation program and strict soil management practices, such as the use of cover-crops to protect against erosion.
Region: Juja, Thika
Altitude: 1600 meters above sea level
Screen Size: 17-18