Arusha — Arusha coffee farmers are among the 85,000 smallholder farmers who are set to benefit from a $8m grant that by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an official has said.
This follows an announcement by the German development finance institution DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH of the launch of the Coffee Partnership for Tanzania (CPT), a partnership bringing together Tanzanian smallholder coffee farmers, DEG plus its private sector partners.
"Coffee farmers from Arusha, Tanga, Manyara and Kilimanjaro regions are going to benefit from the partnership's goals and its planned activities that are fully aligned with the Tanzanian coffee industry's Development Strategy that we have formulated in the sector's Task Force Committee," said the Tanzania's Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives Mohamed Muya.
Muya explained the partnership provides a great opportunity for smallholder farmers and is expected to help government to increase the sector's overall production volumes over the next four years.
He told the media the four-year project aims to increase the net income of 85,000 female and male smallholder coffee farmers in Tanzania, largely by doubling their yields and by improving the quality of produced coffee, thereby providing a better livelihood for up to 510,000 Tanzanian.
"The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will support the project with a grant of $8 million with three major implementing partners including two coffee traders Armajaro Trading Ltd. and Ecom Agroindustrial Ltd and Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung while strategic partners such as Hivos, Solidaridad and Café Africa will support the partnership.
The Coffee Partnership for Tanzania (CPT) will substantially support 85,000 Tanzanian smallholder farmers from 2012 - 2016.
"The partnership's goal is to enable farmers to take full advantage of the opportunities arising from the production of coffee and additional products, helping producers to increase their incomes and improve their livelihood," says Ian Lachmund, DEG Project Director for the partnership.
He explained that the implementing partners undertake capacity-building measures to promote the empowerment of smallholder coffee producers within the global coffee value chain.
The project activities include promotion of the organization of well-governed farmer groups, training of farmers in basic business and agronomy skills, improvement of farmers' access to finance, and facilitation of producers' affiliation to certification schemes - thereby increasing the overall productivity and quality of the coffee production and meanwhile improving smallholders' access to stable export markets.
Additional activities in the areas of gender, seedling multiplication and distribution, renewable energy as well as livestock and food production further promote the environmental and social sustainability of the partnership.