The importance of coffee to the world economy cannot be underestimated. It is one of the most widely traded agricultural commodities in the world market. Around 400 billion cups are consumed per year, most of which are sold in Europe where drinking coffee is an integral way of life. The global coffee consumption reached 128 million bags in 2007 and 130 million in 2008. Total consumption of coffee has grown by 2% per year and this trend is likely to continue. Coffee demand in Middle East countries as well as in newly industrialized countries like China is increasing too. As such, coffee is crucial to the economies and politics of many developing countries among which, the 21st coffee producing country, Kenya. French missionaries introduced coffee in Kenya in the Coast Province in 1893. At the independence (1963), the coffee production was grownon a total 45,538 hectares (ha), and reached 43,778 metric tonnes. Coffee is a key industry of the Kenyan economy, as it is the fourth largest earner after tourism, tea and horticulture. It is further estimated that out of the 70% of Kenya's workforce engaged in agriculture, 30% (about 6 million Kenyans) are employed in the coffee industry.
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