THE government has expressed its commitment to support coffee farmers, saying the move is aimed at improving production as identified in the plan to boost the agricultural sector.
For the start, the government has started producing and distributing drought-resistant hybrid coffee seeds, as one of the measures in increasing production.
Coffee is in the list of strategic cash crops that are given special focus by the government. However, due to climate change, a section of coffee farmers across the country have abandoned the crop cultivation due to low yields caused by climate change and other factors.
Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Hussein Bashe told Parliament that the government is doing everything in its capacity to address the challenge.
Mr Bashe made the remark, while responding to Saasisha Mafuwe (Hai-CCM) question on the measures that are taken by the government to revive the cash crop's cultivation.
He further said the government is also looking forward to reviving Farmers Cooperative Unions-the bodies that once oversaw massive production and sale of the crop within and outside the country.
He named Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union as one of the associations and union that the government is working on to ensure it supports farmers to increase production.
Elaborating, Mr Bashe said Hai District in Kilimanjaro region in particular is one of the areas that have dropped in coffee production from 3,486 tonnes in 2014/2015 to 1,428.80 tonnes in 2020/2021.
He said the situation has been caused by several reasons including climate change and poor performance by the coffee cooperative unions, adding that hence, the farmers decided to opt for other crops instead of the coffee cultivation.
Moreover, he said, farmers who were under the irrigation schemes were affected as well with the climate changes, and experienced no reliable rains.
He further said the whole scenario, called for the intervention of the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI) to come up with the best seeds with high yields.