Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

15 July 2014

Tanzania: Kigoma Coffee Growers Urged to Work Collectively

KIGOMA coffee farmers have been advised to collect their bags into single big lots to avoid contributing more in terms of samples for tasting at the Moshi auction market.

Tanzania Coffee Board Director of Quality and Promotion, Primus Kimaryo said scientifically, 300 grammes of beans are collected from every lot for the purpose of tasting and arbitration.

"Coffee is a commodity which cannot be sold without tasting by the client hence the 300gm tasting sample," Mr Kimaryo told 'Daily News' yesterday over the phone from Moshi.

He said Kigoma smallholder farmers who normally have between 4-6 bags of coffee complain against the burden of 300gm per lot due to their small amounts of beans.

"We have always advised these farmers to team up and bring their few bags together to reduce the effect of sample collection," Kimaryo pointed out.

The TCB Director further pointed out that only 1,400 kilogrammes were collected from Kigoma coffee this season saying part of the sample is retained at the Board for arbitration purposes.

"The other problem with Kigoma coffee farmers is politics, the cooperative society is not functioning properly due to political differences," he noted.

Last week, Kigoma coffee farmers complained against huge samples taken by TCB for tasting saying it is hurting them. Kigoma farmers complained that 1.6 metric tons of their beans were collected for tasting which is a loss to them.

Kigoma is one of the major coffee growing regions in the country contributing significantly in this season's estimated 61,000 tonnes tons.

Director General of TCB, Mr Adolph Kumburu said recently that coffee farmers will earn more. Mr Kumburu said better world market prices will benefit more local farmers as a 50kg bag of coffee which sold for 125 US dollars (208,184/-) last season will likely increase to 250 US dollars (416,368/-).

Kigoma farmers grow Arabica coffee which has an improved variety developed by Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TACRI) in Moshi.

Kanyovu Coffee Curing Co-operative Joint Enterprise Ltd is the sole coffee processing plant in the region and operates around 11 primary co-operative societies in Kigoma, Kibondo and Kasulu districts in Tanzania.

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