Gidraph Gathenya

From a Prisoner to a Renowned Organic Coffee Farmer

Gidraph had been jailed for 12 years in Nyeri Maximum Security Prison. He appealed and was released in 2015, after serving 8 years. While in prison, he was trained in a number of trades both by prison officers and RODI staff. Among the outstanding aspects of the training he got from RODI was in improved coffee management, upgrading and organic conversion and making organic farm inputs.

On returning home, Gidraph found his 200 coffee trees having gone into waste; they only produced 350 kgs i.e. 1.75 Kgs per tree in 2015. Within a year of improved management Gidraph harvested 1850 kgs in 2016; and in 2017 expected to harvest 6000Kg. Application of proper management skills including composting, use of homemade organic foliar and plant teas, proper pruning, digging of water harvesting pits and mulching did the trick.

As a result, he is currently harvesting more than 13kg/tree of coffee compared to former production of 5kg/tree of coffee, an indication of increased production. He has equally perfected in coffee management practices such as pruning and making of foliar sprays. This has attracted many other farmers who always come to seek advice from him.