23 January 2013

Tanzania: Morogoro Coffee Farmers Set to Increase Output

Morogoro — MOROGORO has a huge potential of producing more coffee than Kilimanjaro and Arusha regions combined, thus attracting authorities to revamp the crop.

The efforts have started to bear fruits as during the 2011/12 season almost half of 146 villages in Morogoro District were actively involved in coffee production, where 3,000 hectares were cultivated and some 155 tonnes harvested.

This follows joint intervention of Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) and Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI), an effort explained to have direct impact on the region's economic status for their joint effort. Before the intervention, Morogoro Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Mr Eliya Ntandu said coffee farmers in his region used to uproot coffee trees and replace them with fast growing food crops.

He told TCB Regional Coffee Development Officer, Mr Martin Malulu, that the region was facing a serious problem of data collection. He said it was difficult to assess yearly coffee production trends and much less the exact number of coffee growers in the region.

Mr Malulu told the RAS that his specific mission was to assess coffee farmers' needs with the objective of identifying opportunities and challenges which coffee farmers in Morogoro were currently facing. He said Morogoro Region has the potential of producing bigger volumes of coffee than what was produced in "Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions combined".

"TCB was keen at encouraging and educating coffee farmers on the economic importance of the crop which has to be revived in areas with fertile soils, Morogoro being one of those areas," he remarked.

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