The Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU) has collected 1.1million kilogrammes of coffee against the target of 2million, over 50 per cent of the crop during the 2011/2012 season, the management has said.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, the KNCU chairman Maynard Swai said despite competition, the procurement unit managed to purchase the amount which earned farmers a total of 4.5bn/- as initial payment.
“We are doing better. It is our hope that at the end of the 2011/2012 season we will get more profit through coffee auction and direct sales, hence to pay farmers their arrears,” he said.
He said the other projects being implemented by KNCU included coffee roasting and that last year it managed to roast 20,000 kilogrames which were distributed to various shops in Moshi municipality.
Swai also said some businessmen in Arab countries were among foreign buyers who have shown interest to buy coffee from Tanzania.
He said the Union is also implementing its tourism project known as Coffee Farm aimed at increasing income to farmers, adding that last year 2011 more than 1,000 people visited the farms, from which the Union earned more than 30m/-.
He said 70 percent of the income will be allocated to various social development projects for the cooperatives.
He said KNCU in collaboration with Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI) has produced about 145,455 coffee seedlings at Mbosho garden in Hai district and KDC in Moshi Municipality which will be distributed freely to farmers who will only be charged 100/- to cover transport costs to their societies.
“Our aim is to distribute 400,000 seedlings this year,” he stated.