Dodoma — COFFEE growers in the country could earn more money if they plant the improved Arabica hybrid seedlings developed by the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI) and sell the coffee beans at open markets instead of going through middlemen in villages.
This was said in the National Assembly by the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Mr Adam Kighoma Malima, while responding to a query floated in the House by Mr Albert Obama Ntabaliba (Manyovu - CCM).
Mr Ntabaliba had told the House that coffee growers in Manyovu constituency in Kasulu District are good farmers but are disappointed by the low coffee prices. He wanted to know when the government would introduce subsidies on coffee fertilizers and when the price of coffee would be more attractive.
He also wished to know when skilled extension workers would be posted to Manyovu to help farmers boost their coffee output. Mr Malima said that the State offers subsidies on coffee fertilizers and has done so since 2007/08 and ensured that good quality seedlings are sold to growers at affordable prices.
He said that Manyovu coffee growers can obtain good seedlings from Mwayaya in Kigoma Rural District. Mwayaya, a station operated by TaCRI, serves coffee growers in Kasulu, Kibondo and Ngara districts. The deputy minister said that coffee prices depend on the international market.
He said that the current coffee price on the local open market stands at 5,500/- a kilo for Arabica coffee. He added that this price is high compared to the production costs farmer incurs which stands at 1,900/- a kilo.
The deputy minister said that up to June, this year, Kasulu District had a total of 89 extension officers, 17 of whom were stationed in the district council's head offices. A further 72 extension workers are located in wards and villages.