Net income of 85,000 small holder coffee farmers in Tanzania is earmarked to increase in the near future thanks to new initiatives by various institutions aimed at supporting the sub-sector.
Already a German based development and finance institution DEG – Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH has said it is embarking on an big initiative called Coffee Partnership for Tanzania (CPT) to be launched in Dar es Salaam next Tuesday.
A press statement issued by the organisation said the CPT initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support Tanzanian smallholder coffee farmers is expected to change their livelihoods.
The goal of this important four-year project is to increase the net income of 85,000 female and male smallholder coffee farmers in Tanzania, largely by doubling their yields and by enhancing the quality of produced coffee.
The aim is to improve the livelihoods of up to 510,000 coffee producers and their dependents, the statement said.
A number of locals and foreigners have been invited to take part during the launch by DEG which is one of Europe’s largest development and finance institutions managing CPT.
According to the statement, invitees are farmer representatives and the project implementing partners Armajaro Trading Limited, Ecom Agroindustrial Limited and Hanns R. Neumann Foundation, the Tanzanian Government as well as the coffee sector stakeholders.
Others are Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives and Director General of Tanzania Coffee Board, who have already confirmed their participation.
After the panel discussion, there will be an opportunity to discuss the new move for the Coffee Partnership for Tanzania, the statement added.
Experts say coffee could fetch the East African second economy up to USD 200m in foreign exchange annually, through implementation of comprehensive grassroot based intervention mapped out in the ten year national coffee development strategy.
According to TCB, production of coffee has stagnated at 50,000 metric tonnes a year over the past three decades, despite vast opportunities which, include large tracts of volcanic soils suitable for high quality coffee farming. Tanzania has 4.8 million ha of land suitable for coffee farming, of which only 200,000 are utilised.
More than 95 per cent of the country’s coffee is exported where minimum standards are not only high, but the involved system of international market policies and commodity prices are dictated.
Capitalising on the positive outlook on the domestic coffee consumption market, stakeholders can and should work with TCB in promoting and encouraging initiatives to boost the practice for a strong way forward in improving coffee business fortunes, say experts.