Tanzania to Increase Land Under Coffee

Tanzania will increase land under coffee by attracting new farmers from the southern regions of the country as it seeks to raise production from 66,646 tonnes to 100,000 tonnes in the next four years.

Some 10,000 hectares of land have been set aside for both small and large scale formers.

To attract new growers, the government scrapped some 17 levies and taxes imposed on coffee to stimulate production.

It costs $1,000 for a licence to sell coffee in markets outside the country, and $20 to purchase parchment dry cherry coffee, while a processing licence costs $250.

While outlining the government's strategy to revive the coffee sector, deputy minister for Agriculture Omary Mgimba said poor farming methods and low prices in the world market were to blame for the sector's poor performance.

Since most of the coffee varieties being grown now are vulnerable to diseases and pests, the government will provide farmers with 10 million seedlings of new high yield varieties to boost production.

He added that the government will start a campaign to uproot old coffee trees and replace them with the new varieties.

Tanzania has earned $123 million this year alone from coffee exports. Until the year 2000, coffee used to contribute at least five per cent of Tanzania's export earnings with Kilimanjaro and Arusha regions accounting for 20 per cent of the total export.

Under the patronage of Tanzania Coffee Board and private stakeholders, the government's new coffee strategy, Tanzania is also lobbying local and foreign investors to set up coffee processing factories in the country.

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