3 September 2012

Tanzania: Coffee Exports Poised to Hit New Highs

Mara — TANZANIA is geared to generate over 200 million US dollars (about 320 billion/-) from coffee exports this season, the Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) has said.

This will be realized through the expected increase in production from 33,000 tonnes, last season, to 55,000 tonnes, according to TCB Director-General Engineer Adolph Kumburu. "We are looking forward to get over 200 million US dollars from coffee exports this season," the TCB boss told the 'Daily News' in a telephone interview over the weekend.

He attributed the increase, of this year's coffee earnings and production, to good weather in major coffee growing zones in the country and improved marketing as compared to last year. "Many coffee growing zones were affected by shortages of rains last season but rain patterns are normal this year and production will increase," Eng Kumburu said.

He, however, cited Kilimanjaro Region as the only coffee growing zone which has been affected by a prolonged dry spell, this year.

Introduction of new coffee varieties in coffee growing areas by the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI) has also significantly helped to increase production of the cash crop , according to him.

Apart from maturing fast and producing high yields, the new coffee varieties are also resistant to diseases such as Coffee Berry Diseases (CBD), according TaCRI experts. "For example, Tarime District leads when it comes to coffee production, compared to other districts, thereby reviving the coffee sector in the country. New coffee varieties have helped boost production," Eng Kumburu said.

Tanzania is Africa's fourth coffee producer after Ethiopia, Uganda and Cote d'Ivoire. TCB has in the recent years been taking a number of measures aimed at improving and maintaining the quality of Tanzania coffee which is mainly exported to overseas markets such as Europe and the United States.

The measures included transforming coffee growing zones into wet and dry coffee processing zones with the use of world best quality wet and dry coffee processing machines. Meanwhile there is stiff competition emerging among coffee buyers in several parts of the country including Tarime District where Arabica coffee is widely grown in Mara Region.

TCB has opened a zonal office in Musoma to supervise the coffee growing zones within the lake zone regions in recent years.

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