27 March 2013

Tanzania: Drought Threatens Increased Coffee Production in Mbeya

Mbeya — WHILE the demand of coffee is increasing in the world, drought and lack of infrastructure for coffee irrigation scheme if affecting the crop's production in Idugumbi village, Mbeya district.

The information was revealed by Idugumbi Coffee Group Chairman, Laston Mwakalenga. He said during the group meeting held at the village to discuss challenges facing coffee farmers. He said the village was experiencing drought which affected coffee production.

"Coffee is the engine to alleviate poverty in the village, but the situation we are facing now makes things harder for us," he noted. Mr Mwakalenga said they drew water from Ilungu River in the nearby village. By his account, they had a proper plan to curb the problem.

On the other hand, International Coffee Partners (ICP), Mbeya regional Manager, Webster Miyanda said, in their current programmes, they did not have a component that helps farmers in irrigation scheme.

However, they had capacity building and provided education for production of high quality coffee. Mr Mwakalenga was optimistic that other coffee stakeholders would join hands to help farmers to start irrigation farming to increase coffee production and improve their standard of living.

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