Tanzania: Population Growth Hampers Coffee Production

POPULATION growth is among issues that have contributed to the decrease of coffee production in the Northern Zone, the parliament heard on Tuesday.

The House was informed that coffee production decreased from 6,706 tonnes in 2014/15 to 5,882 in 2018/19 financial years due to various reasons.

The Ministry of Agriculture said in a written response to a question by special seats Member of Parliament Shally Raymond (CCM) who wanted to know the government's plan to revamp the production of the cash crop.

In her principal question, the MP asked "What was the government doing to revamp the production of the crop whose drop has had a negative impact to the lives of the people in northern regions."

In response, the Ministry of Agriculture said the drop in production was due to various reasons including decrease in land for cultivation because of population which has made farmers to turn coffee farms into residential areas, tourism and the shift to other types of farming such as horticulture and the fruit production.

The ministry further said the drop was also due to changes in rainfall patterns which led to drought and fall of irrigation activities which were the pillar of coffee production in regions of Arusha and Kilimanjaro.

This has also led to weakening of the Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU), which was very influential in sensitizing farmers on Coffee production.

The ministry said the government has taken various initiatives including reviving the KNCU so that it continues offering services to farmers as it was in the past.

"In implementing this, the government has taken various initiatives including taking serious actions against all those who embezzled funds and contributed to the fall of KNCU," said the ministry.

Other initiatives according to the ministry include working together with the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI to offer training to extension officers at ward level as well as training them on better ways to develop nursery trees which reduces production costs up to 50 per cent.

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