Moshi — TANZANIA Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI) has launched a four-year programme designed to increase the competitiveness of small-holder coffee growers which will cost over 1.5 million euros.
The TaCRI's Board Chairman, Mr Vedastus Ngaiza, told an annual meeting attended by stakeholders from coffee growing districts countrywide, that implementation of the programme began on July 20, this year and it will be completed on December 19, 2016. He said the overall objective of the programme was to increase agricultural production, development and trade as a strategy of reduction of rural poverty.
"This is in line with the European Union (EU) multi-indicative programme for 2008-2013 which focuses on key commodities which offer opportunities for pro-poor trade, one of which is coffee," Mr Ngaiza told the conference delegates.
The Board Chairman informed the conference delegates that the interventions planned under this programme also conform to the National Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP) which has the overall objective of creating an enabling environment for improving agricultural productivity and profitability, Mr Ngaiza said the four-year programme, specifically aims to increase the ability of smallholder coffee farmers to consistently produce high volumes of quality coffee and improve their access and competitiveness in the market in terms of quality and standards.
He said TaCRI was the implementing agency as the Institute is responsible for coffee research and transfer of technology to support the rejuvenation and development of the coffee industry. "In the EU multi-indicative programme, it has been agreed with the government of Tanzania that through the Tanzania Agricultural Sector Programme II, the EU will support standards compliance and quality improvements in five selected sub-sectors, one of which is coffee," TaCRI's Board Chairman stated.
According to Mr Ngaiza, Tanzania contributes approximately one per cent of the world coffee exports, but enjoys positive differentials in the Colombian mild group for its Arabica coffee, adding that Tanzania's robusta coffee also enjoys premium prices in the world market as being among best quality coffees.
Meanwhile, TaCRI has been okayed to present 14 papers at the International Coffee Science Conference which will be held in Costa Rica from November 11 to 14 this year. According to TaCRI's Chief Executive Director, Professor James Teri, some 12 TaCRI scientists will make presentations which will cover improved coffee varieties and integrated pest management; coffee husbandry; integrated soil fertility management and strategies in technology transfer.