TANZANIA – Café Africa has joined hands with the Tanzanian government and the Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum (ANSAF) on efforts to boost coffee production and re-position the produce as the leading export crop, reports The Citizen.
Spearheading the initiative, Café Africa, which was established to uplift the vision of Africa coffee sector mainly by conducting and coordinating training agronomists, will focus on intensive training of farmers on modern production methods of quality beans.
Cafe Africa operations manager, Dafrosa Sanga, said the training offered was intends to equip the extension officers with the necessary skills so that they can help the farmers to improve their production and yields.
“The intention is that these agronomists will then move out into the districts in their respective regions and train other district level agriculture officers in coffee specific regions.
“This should then continue as those district agronomists train the ward level agriculture officers who meet regularly with farmers,” she said.
Coffee has been given an upper hand under the programme as one of the strategic cash crops for the national economy, the others being cotton, cashew nuts and tea.
The training would also enable the coffee growers to embrace new technologies in the production of one of the country’s leading cash crops.
Coffee is one of Tanzania’s seven traditional export crops, others being cashew nuts, tobacco, cotton, tea, sisal and cloves.
According to Bank of Tanzania (BoT), Tanzania’s earnings from exports of traditional crops rose by 33 per cent to $1.152 billion during the year ending June 2018 from $866.4 million during the year ending June 2017,
However, despite the increase in revenues, exports of coffee and cotton declined following a drop in export volumes.
The Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) has projected the crop’s production to reach 60,000 tonnes in 2018/2019 up from 41,679 tonnes in 2017/2018.
The country recorded the coffee production ever in 2013 with production hitting a high 71,319 tonnes
It is estimated that Tanzania has 250,000 hectares of land under coffee production, with 530,000 coffee farmers spread across eight main production zones.