TANZANIA exported 66,646 tonnes of coffee during the 2018/2019 farming season, earning the country US 123 million dollars (approximately 282bn/-) in foreign exchange, the government said on Tuesday.
Responding to a basic question by Kyerwa MP Mr Innocent Bilakwate (CCM), the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mr Omary Mgumba, said the yields for the season was above the target by 102.86 per cent since the government had projected 65,000 tonnes.
Mr Mgumba explained that 24,575 tonnes were sold through direct export while 41,971 tonnes were sold through auctions in coffee growing regions across the country.
He noted further that during the current financial year, 72.92 per cent of 22 million kilogrammes of coffee produced in Kagera Region were sold through direct export.
The deputy minister assured coffee farmers that the auctions of the crop which were undertaken last year in Mbeya/Songwe, Ruvuma/Njombe, Kagera and Kilimanjaro zones would also apply during all seasons.
"Through the actions, we hope farmers will reap more incomes. Cooperative unions should sensitize their members to increase production of high quality coffee which attracts better prices in the market," he remarked.
Mr Mgumba noted further that the government had put in place various measures aimed at improving productivity of coffee. Such measures include provision of education to farmers through extension officers.
"We also been sensitizing farmers to increase the sizes of their farms and make use of modern farming practices. The government will also supply 10 million seedlings to coffee farmers across the country," he stated.
The deputy minister on the other hand urged local and foreign investors to set up coffee processing factories in Tanzania since the country currently has the capacity to process only 6,000 tonnes.