Moshi — THE management of Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU) has not been able to pay in advance 4,500/- per kilogramme of parchment coffee to coffee growers this crop season in Hai, Moshi, Rombo and Siha districts as it used to do so, between July and December last year.
According to the Union Chairman, Mr Maynard Swai, there were two reasons that have restricted the Union to do so. He told the 'Sunday News' that one of the reason is that new coffee producers in Vietnam have disposed of in the world market some 20 million of clean coffee, which was equivalent to 15 % of total global coffee volume for 2011 / 2012 crop season while Indonesia brought into the global market 8.3 million bags and therefore there was over-supply of the crop in crop.
Secondly, he said, economic melt-down that affected the European continent ended up in fuelling decline in coffee prices from an average of 6,628/- to 4,000/- per kilo of parchment coffee. Meanwhile, KNCU management has signed a contract with investors who have constructed shopping centres at Marangu Mtoni in Moshi rural area, under which the latter will pay the former 50,000/-, out of 180,729/- in monthly rent.
According to Mr Swai, the investors will retain the balance of 130,729/- to recover construction costs of the centres totalling 694m/- and thereafter the total rent will be paid to the Union to boost its revenue from its own sources.
In another development, availability of the Union extension staff has goaded coffee farmers in the four districts adhere to acceptable farming methods of the crop, Mr Swai noted, adding that there has been an impressive increase in organic coffee procurement due to favourable weather patterns, from 104,491 kgs for 2010 / 2011 season to 203,429 kgs for 2011 / 2012 season.
The KNCU Chairman has made an impassioned plea to coffee farmers in the four districts under the umbrella of the Union to revert to organic farming arrangement for it has an immense economic benefit as it was healthy and environmentally friendly, adding that of the 68 Rural Primary Cooperative Societies under the auspices of KNCU, only 10 such societies practice organic coffee farming.