Tanzania: TCB Set to Improve Coffee Productivity

COFFEE is among the strategic cash crop across the country earning the country substantial amount of foreign exchange. Facts stands as such that after fuel coffee is the second most traded commodity worldwide as coffee is liked and consumed by many people across the globe mainly through 2.6 billion cups of coffee cups of coffee.

Speaking on an overview of coffee productivity and how the coffee sector is fairing across the country, the Acting Director General of Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB), Mr Primus Kimaryo said a total of 320,000 households across the country depend on coffee for their livelihood adding that coffee earned the country a total of 24 per cent of the total country’s agricultural DGP.

Talking on coffee production, he said in the past years the same averaged at 50,000 tonnes per annum adding that efforts made by the government had resulted to an increase in coffee productivity the same reaching a total of 73,022 tons in 2020/21 coffee harvesting season.

He said in the country coffee is grown in 17 regions namely Kagera, Morogoro, Kilimanjaro, Manyara, Arusha, Tanga, Mwanza, Mara and Geita.

According to him other coffee growing regions were Katavi, Rukwa, Njombe, Iringa, Ruvuma, Mbeya, Songwe and Kigoma. Kagera region leads in the production of Robusta coffee which accounts for a total of 30-40 per cent of all the coffee produced countrywide while Ruvuma and Songwe with Arabica coffee accounts to a total of 44 per cent of all the coffee produced in the country.

He said in 2021/22tne country earned a total of 199.98 million US dollars through coffee exports adding that out of these 70.484 million US dollars was realized through Tanzania Coffee Exchange (local coffee auctions) while the remaining 129.5 million US dollars was garnered through Direct Coffee Export (DCE).

Giving reasons to such competitive earning from coffee he said the same was due to a decrease in coffee production in Brazil (giant worldwide producer), increase in coffee drinking habits during the post Covid-19 pandemic as many.

On how coffee prices had fared he said during the coffee year 2021/22 worldwide Arabica coffee prices increased by 70 per cent while Robusta coffee prices increased by 80 per cent adding that this increase was due to a decrease in coffee output due to frost in Brazil, lack of containers to transport coffee in Asia and Oceania countries and a boycott by citizen in Colombia which affected much coffee exports from respective country.

On what gave coffee competitive prices in the world market during this period he said quality coffee is the main reason and to this he call upon farmers across the country to always strive to produce good quality coffee as the same always fetches competitive prices.

Some of the big importers of coffee from the country are namely Japan importing a total of 32 per cent of the total coffee exports followed by Germany 13 per cent then Italy 12 per cent adding that with this in hand the country through TCB had expanded its market outreach now to cover countries like India, Russia, Australia, Lebanon, Latvia and China while in African markets have been found in Algeria, Morocco, South Africa and Libya.

Coming to local consumption of coffee (domestic market) he said the same is currently standing at 5-7 per cent adding that efforts are underway to make the same reach 15 per cent after 10 years.

“An increase in local consumption of coffee should go in hand with investments on coffee roasting facilities which will produce enough coffee for Tanzanians to drink.

This have been received well by the public and currently we have a total of 37 coffee roasting facilities and a total of 2 big instant coffee producers of which respective production capacities leads in all countries within East and Central Africa.

On the involvement of youths and women in coffee production he said it is still minimal due to various reasons including the fact that youths want to involve themselves in activities which give them quick money and scarcity of farming land as land is normally owned by fathers and not women or youths.

“Having realized the above challenge of involving youths and women in coffee farming the Ministry of Agriculture, TCB and various District Councils have come to initiative of starting a coffee production in Block Farms whereby Farms will be distributed to youth and women who would like to invest in coffee farming”.

He elaborated that plans are underway in the country to acquire land to start coffee block farms the same is going at par with the government policy of making sure that agricultural production grows by 10 per cent come the year 2030 compared to the current growth rated at 5 per cent.

Outlining how coffee block farming will be carried out he said block farming will have all necessary facilities for coffee production including infrastructure, input supply services, extension and marketing. Presence of facilities in the said coffee farming blocks coffee productivity will increase tremendously.

Coming to the five years Coffee Strategic Plan (2021-2025) whereby it is anticipated that coffee should reach a production of 300,000 tonnes come the year 2025 he said this will be achieved through implementation of activities aiming at reaching the same.

First and foremost is to cooperate with all other stakeholders to make sure that farmers have access to quality coffee planting material both Arabica and Robusta. These seedlings are resistant to the Coffee Deadly diseases namely Coffee Berry Disease (CBD) and Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR) for Arabica coffee and Coffee Wilt Disease (CWD) for Robusta coffee.

The use of these coffee varieties reduces production costs as less fungicide is required and also they give higher yields per unit area while giving coffee with bigger bean sizes with good beverage qualities thus fetching competitive prices in the world market.

He said that the country target is to produce and distribute to farmers a total of 20 million of such seedlings per annum from currently 10 million seedlings. Secondly is the fact that in order for coffee productivity both in terms of quantity and quality to increase correct farm management practices is key.

To ensure farmers are trained to access to access to extension services TCB is going to cooperate with the Ministry of Agriculture so as to improve extension services to coffee growers. The extension officers will be given refresher courses on coffee, working tools, motor cycles and other necessary working tools all making it possible for them to reach and train farmers at the earliest convenient time” said the TCB Boss.

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