MARA: MARA Regional Commissioner Mr Said Mtanda has urged residents to increase coffee farming and get raw materials to the newly constructed coffee processing factory, a property of the farmers’ cooperative union in the region (WAMACU).
Launching such a 1.3bn/- worth coffee factor recently, the RC said that the region is endowed with arable lands, but unproductively utilised.
“For instance, we have recently destroyed over 1,000 hectares of cannabis in the Mara River Valley. People claim that they make it since the valley accommodates so many birds that have been destroying the rice. Now, I tell you that the birds never destroy the coffee, switch in,” he made the call.
WAMACU Manager, Mr Samwel Gisiboye, said that the factory with a processing capacity of between five to 12 tonnes per day faces a shortage of raw materials.
According to him, the cooperative has already secured coffee markets in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, urging the Mara residents to grab such an opportunity to let Tanzania meet the demand.
He also advised the government to intensify coffee seedling production and free distribution, to attract Mara residents to fully engage in such farming.
He added the government can encourage the investors to implement Corporate Social Responsibilities programmes by offering free coffee seedlings and all farm inputs, in efforts to intensify production.
“Coffee markets are almost everywhere in the world and grabbing them is a cross-cutting issue. Our factory became operational in December last year, exporting only coffee beans. We do expect to go for final coffee processing in the near future,” said the Manager.
Mara residents, including the Nkerege villager, Mr Chacha Marwa, expressed their willingness to switch to coffee production, once they are shown modern farming education and get empowered, financial-wise.