The Tanzania network of small scale farmers in Mbinga District, Ruvuma Region (Mviwata) expects to collect 250,000 kgs of coffee in the 2012/13 season which is an increase of 220 percent for the past four years.
Speaking at the seventh meeting here, Mviwata official Rita Ndimbo, said during the 2009/10 season, the network collected 35,565kgs of coffee which was sold at 3,021/- per kg.
In the year 2010/11 a total of 19,850kgs of coffee was collected and sold at 4,930/- per kg, while the last season the network collected 188,769 kg which was sold at 5,670/- per kg.
She said the achievement was a result of farmers’ cooperation and modern farming methods which were provided by the network officials at the district level.
“Such achievements have enabled farmers to increase income, pay for education, establish more income generating projects hence improve their livelihooda,” she said.
They also commended other stakeholders who have made contributions in their success.
The Mbinga district council has donated 26m/- and the National Microfinance bank (NMB) has enabled them to access farming equipment loans, education at affordable interest rates.
Other stakeholders who made their contribution include Tanzania Coffee research institute (TACR), Ugano –Mbinga center which donated coffee seedlings and Mbinga coffee curing company which helped them in coffee grading, processing and transport to the market.
According to her some of the challenges facing the network include, stiff competition from private coffee buyers, lack of transport ,distant market which increases prices and reduces profit.
For her part the Mbinga district Commissioner Senyi Ngaga encouraged farmers to improve their association in order to reach target.
“As Mviwata theme says defender of a farmer is a farmer himself you have to collaborate in airing voices relating to the development of your organisation,” she said.
She also urged them not to hesitate to take stern measures against any member found to go against their objectives
Mviwata Mbinga was established in 2006 with 18 members, currently it has 1996 members