Mara — TANZANIA Coffee Board (TCB) awarded a 1m/- cheque to the 2012 best coffee farmer in the Northern Tarime District of Mara Region.
Mr Peter Mwita (45) and his wife Joyce Peter turned up to receive the award along with their son at the Tarime District Commissioner (DC) office on Wednesday morning. The couples are from a remote village of Nyarero, several kilometres away from Tarime town.
"This should be a motivation for you to strive further in coffee farming," Tarime District Commissioner (DC) Mr John Henjewele told the couples shortly after presenting them with the award. The brief handing over function was also attended by Tarime District Executive Director (DED) Mr Omar Athuman, District Agriculture, Cooperatives and Livestock Officer (DALDO) Mr Slvanus Gwiboha as well as TCB's Mara Regional Zone Manager Mr Melkiad Massawe.
Mr Mwita is one of hundreds of farmers who have embarked on serious cultivation of new coffee varieties under an ambitious programme being supported by the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI) in the area. "We are indeed happy for the award and it has indeed bonded us to our coffee farm," the couple said after receiving the cash and certificate of recognition by TCB.
TCB has recently opened a zonal office in Musoma to closely supervise the development of the coffee sector, with Tarime being the major target in the region. Plans are underway to transform Tarime coffee into full washed Arabica to enable the cash crop fetch higher prices, according to TCB Director General Engineer Adolph Kumburu.
The Tarime DC hailed efforts being made by TCB and TaCRI to revive coffee sector in the district that has suitable climate for the cash crop production.
Apart from producing high yield, the new coffee varieties are resistant to diseases such as Coffee Berry Diseases (CBD), according to Mara Regional TaCRI Manager Ms Sheila Mdemu. Officials estimate that there are about 8,000 coffee farmers in Tarime district, which leads on production of the cash crop in the lake zone region.