TANZANIA – Tanzania expects tea production to rise by over 40% to 40,000 tonnes in the 2020/21 season, boosted by good weather conditions.
This was revealed by the Tea Board of Tanzania (TBT) who indicated that the rise will be an improvement from the previous season’s 28,000 tonnes which was 20% short of the period’s target of 38,000 tonnes.
The 2019/20 tea production was also a decline from 2018/19’s 37,000 tonnes which had surpassed its target of 35,000 tonnes of tea.
Tea being one of the country’s main cash crops, Tanzania targets to harvest 60,000,000kg by 2024/25.
In a bid to meet this ambitious target, the board has set out a myriad of strategies including reviving abandoned old farms, expand existing tea plantations, for example, in Njombe and also to increase seedlings production for new plantations.
TTB Director-General Nicholaus Mauya also highlighted that the board has been encouraging smallholder farmers to join cooperative unions and currently about 95 per cent of them had joined associations.
“We have been working with various stakeholders, including Tanzania Fertiliser Regulatory Authority (TFRA) to ensure that smallholder farmers get access to affordable fertilisers to boost production,” he added.
Tea production in Tanzania is currently produced in an area measuring 23,805.55 hectares, where 40% i.e., 11,500 hectares is held by smallholder farmers while largescale farmers manage the remaining 12,300 hectares.
The leading tea producing regions in the country include Iringa, Mbeya and Njombe harvesting approximately 70 per cent of the country’s total output. Others are Tanga, Kagera and Mara regions.
Coffee production to hit 70,000 tonnes
Meanwhile, the country’s coffee production in the 2020/2021 harvest season is expected to hit a record 70,000 tonnes, up from 59,000 tons in 2019/2020, according to the Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB).
In an economic review by the Bank of Tanzania, low production of coffee and cotton in the country affected the exports of traditional produces last year despite improved prices in the world market, reports The Citizen.
According to the report, the value of traditional exports decreased to US$819.1 million in 2020 from US$834.6 million recorded in 2019.
“The decline in coffee and cotton value manifested in export volume, following low production while sisal and tea exports declined on account of both low volume and prices,” the report reads in part.
However, the two cash crops were among the commodities that saw an increase in price in the world market.
There was an improvement of 15 percent on the world market prices for Arabica coffee in December last year to US$3.3 per kilogramme from US$2.9 charged in the corresponding month in 2019.
Global coffee production for 2019/20 is estimated at 168.55 million bags versus consumption of 167.59 million bags.
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